Collected Works, vol. 7: Studies in Semantics released

Volume 7 of the Collected Works of Rudolf Carnap was released by Oxford University Press UK in June, and will be available in the rest of the world on July 18 (Amazon US | UK | CA | DE). It contains Carnap’s Studies in Semantics, a series of three interlocking books: Introduction to Semantics (1942), Formalization of Logic (1942), and Meaning and Necessity (1947). They were extremely influential in their time, especially the third, and shaped the direction of analytic philosophy during the 1950s and 1960s. They constitute the background to a number of celebrated controversies of that period, especially those between Carnap and Quine. Most of the philosophical debates today in philosophical logic and the philosophy of language ultimately had their origins here. This new edition situates these works in their context, both within Carnap’s philosophical development and within the philosophical debates they responded to and influenced.

The editors’ introduction explains how Carnap arrived at the project of semantics in the 1930s and how it developed into these three successive publications, how the three books fit together, and how the project developed and changed in the course of the 1940s. It also describes the reception of the books as they appeared, as well as Carnap’s response. The editorial and textual notes give variant readings, Carnap’s own marginal notes on these texts in his personal copies, and elucidatory commentary where Carnap’s terminology or notation are no longer familiar. This will be an indispensable volume for anyone interested in the origins and preoccupations of present-day analytic philosophy, especially philosophical logic and philosophy of language.

Steve Awodey is Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics at Carnegie Mellon University and specializes in category theory and logic. He studied philosophy and mathematics at Philips University Marburg, Germany, and the University of Chicago.

Greg Frost-Arnold is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. He earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago and received a PhD in History and Philosophy of Science, as well as a master’s degree in philosophy, from the University of Pittsburgh. He was one of the founding editors of The Journal of the History of Analytical Philosophy, and is Book Reviews Editor at History of Philosophy of Science.