Sunday, November 9, 2008

New Book: Collected Works of Carnap, Vol. 1

One of the best parts of the PSA was the reception hosted by Open Court as part of their launch of the Collected Works of Carnap. The first volume was actually there, and should soon be available for purchase. This volume is perhaps one of the most important as it provides English translations of Carnap's early work for the first time, including his doctoral dissertation. There is an extensive introduction and carefully compiled textual notes.

Real fans of Carnap will like the detailed chronology of Carnap's life. Some things that I never knew before: (i) in WWI, Carnap was initially assigned to the Carpathian mountains because of his skiing ability, (ii) in 1929 Carnap was advised not to publish his paper "On God and the Soul" because "it will make it impossible for him to get a job at a philosophy department anywhere in Germany" (xxxv), and (iii) in 1936 Carnap turned down an offer from Princeton to take up a position at the University of Chicago.

The whole team of editors is to be thanked for their excellent work. Only 12 more volumes left for them to complete!

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