Examination of Carnap's Elimination of Metaphysics With Logical Analysis

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Rudolf Carnap claims to be able to eliminate, once and for all, from a seemingly impartial, unprejudiced point of view, all metaphysics by logical analysis. In this paper, there would be a critical examination on the one hand, that as far as Carnap's analysis is epistemological it directly hits metaphysics and on the other hand posit that as far as his analysis is strictly logical it leaves metaphysics untouched since it lacks the rights of formal logic, especially it's unbiased nature.

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All knowledge is derived from experience which rests on what is immediately given. Similarly, every concept must be settable by stepwise reduction to other concepts down to concepts that refer directly to the given. All cognitively significant statements are scientific whose meaning can be determined by logical analysis through reduction to the simplest statement about the given. But metaphysical statement such as 'There is God' is meaningless if one takes them as the metaphysician intends them to be taken. They say nothing, but express a certain mood; an attitude more properly expressed by poetry. Throughout the history of philosophy, Carnap observed that there have been numerous critics of metaphysics but the development of modern logic has made it possible to give a sharper answer to the question of validity of metaphysics. For logical analysis shows that metaphysical utterances are meaningless; they are pseudo-statements. Carnap laid down criterion of meaningfulness for a word then turned to demonstrate that characteristic words occurring in metaphysics are meaningless.

In all Carnap's anti-metaphysical writings, it is logical analysis that passes judgment on metaphysics and there, we find out what exactly Carnap has in mind when he uses this term. The term logic and logic analysis are taken by Carnap to include formal and applied logic or epistemology. It may be useful to say a few words about formal logic. To Aristotle, formal logic is a discipline that has no subject matter of its own and only takes in to consideration the formal aspect of our thinking and knowledge. Quite obviously, most philosophers and logicians seem to agree that formal logic consist of analytical sentences that supposedly do not give any information about extra logical reality, we may assume that Carnap posit to the conception of just described. Suppose that we could prove, by pure formal logic alone, that metaphysics is impossible such a proof would be of eminent of importance, for that case we would have proved from a strictly impartial and unprejudiced point of view that metaphysics is impossible. According to Carnap, some statements are in conflict with logical syntax and this is the only point that counts for formal logic. The fact that the descriptive terms of statement are metaphysical and those of  are empirical does not matter at all, if formal logic rejects some metaphysical statements as pseudo-statements this happens because they are in conflict with logical syntax because they are not 'well-formed formulas' but not because they are metaphysical.

Carnap introduces other means to attain his goal. This means that logical analysis takes the form of an epistemological inquiry into the question of the meaningfulness of metaphysics. Carnap's logical positivist epistemology, in which the negation of the synthetic a-priori takes center point, metaphysics is directly attacked because metaphysical terms are not odds with the empiricist criterion of significance. Rejection of metaphysics on material grounds is its claim to give us knowledge about something which is beyond all experiences. The argument is clearly epistemological and this has far-reaching consequences. Unlike formal logic, epistemology considers the material aspect of knowledge claims. It criticizes the endeavors of metaphysicians to attain knowledge of things that are beyond possible experience. Though Carnap introduces epistemology to wit the application of the empiricist criterion of significance, it can just mean the application of formal logic to some subject matter, like metaphysics.

In conclusion, with the use of 'logical analysis' we find in Carnap's writings two distinctive argument against metaphysics. The epistemological argument rests on the empiricist criterion of empirical significance such propositions are known as pseudo-statements. However, the epistemological and the strictly logical argument are not integrated parts of one encompassing argument against metaphysics. Since the logical argument (as formal necessary has to leave metaphysics untouched). Carnap claims to be able to eliminate metaphysics once and for all by 'logical analysis'. With the examination above, as far as his argument concerns formal logic, it leaves metaphysics untouched. With the guise of the epistemology, if we disregard some technicalities, there is nothing new under the sun, thus it lacks the impartiality of formal logic.

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