Born in 1891 in Ronsdorf, Germany, Rudolf Carnap was educated at the Universities of Freiburg and Jena. He studied mathematics, philosophy, and physics, completing his doctoral thesis, Der Raum, in 1921. Before immigrating to America in 1935, Carnap held positions in Vienna and Prague, where he laid the foundations for his own logical empiricism and participated actively in the discussions of the Vienna Circle. After arriving in the United States, Carnap taught at the University of Chicago until 1952, was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study from 1952 to 1954, and held a position at UCLA from 1954 until his death in 1970.
Carnap made substantial contributions in the areas of constructional theories, physicalism, the epistemological foundations of physics and mathematics, the syntactical structure of language, semantics, modal logic, and probability theory. Throughout his career he stressed the importance of formal analysis as the key to solving philosophical problems.