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Collection Scope and Content Notes


The Carnap Papers contain some 10,000 pages of letters to and from Carnap, which cover his entire life and career. Since Carnap relied heavily on the mail to discuss important philosophical problems, he corresponded with hundreds of other scholars, among them Herbert Feigl, Carl Gustav Hempel, Felix Kaufmann, Otto Neurath, and Moritz Schlick. A substantial collection of photographs taken throughout Carnap's life depicts him, his relatives, and a number of thinkers with whom he worked closely.

Among Carnap's student notes, perhaps the most interesting come from his seminars with Frege, which were devoted to the Begriffsschrift and the role of logic in mathematics. Also available are Carnap's notes from Russell's seminar at Chicago and notes he took from discussions with Quine, Tarski, Gödel, Hempel, Jeffrey, Heisenberg, and many others.

More than 1,000 pages of lecture outlines for courses that Carnap taught in Vienna, Prague, and the U.S. trace his development as a teacher. Moreover, the collection includes manuscript drafts and typescripts both for his published works and for many unpublished papers and books. In addition, two unpublished papers represent first formulations of Carnap's Aufbau. "Quasizerlegung" ("Quasianalysis," 1932, 21 pp.) outlines the analytical methods for defining quality classes, and "Vom Chaos zur Wirklichkeit" ("From Chaos to Reality," 1922, 14 pp.) represents his first attempt at a construction system using more than six basic relations, instead of one as in the Aufbau. "Topologie der Raum-Zeit-Welt" (Topology of the Space-Time World, 1924) is Carnap's 104-page attempt at a logical reconstruction of the space-time framework of modern physics without using numbers. These are only a few examples of Carnap's many unpublished papers.

The paper's correspondence and manuscripts measure 44.5 linear feet. Much material is written in an outdated German shorthand (the Stolze-Schrey system), which Carnap used extensively since his student days.


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