Braithwaite R. B., Russell Bertrand, Waismann Friedrich. The Relevance of Psychology to Logic: A Symposium. Aristotelian Society. Verifiability · F. Waismann. In Gilbert Ryle & Antony Flew (eds.), Journal of The Principle of Lazerowitz – – Mind 46 () Friedrich Waismann. Verifiability (Part II of a symposium). Aristotelian Society, supplementary volume XIX (), pp. – – Volume

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Operationalism, as held by P.

F. Waismann, Verifiability – PhilPapers

The onus of proof to show that such experiences are possible plainly rests upon the friedric in question. Nevertheless, if the foregoing remarks are correct, a sentence cannot be understood as expressing a statement unless the use of the descriptive expressions that occur in it are governed by semantic rules; and these rules cannot be known or explained to anyone else unless it is possible for the users of the language to have some kind of experience of the states of the world to which the descriptive expressions in question are related.

Free Press, ; 2nd ed. These requirements are, perhaps, all that is essential in the claim made by the verifiability principle in its later formulations.

Find it on Scholar. Mill, and Ernst Mach.

In order to meet these difficulties, sentences, statements, and propositions may be distinguished in the following way: Understanding a word, it is said, does not wasmann “knowing what the word stands for” or “being able to recognize what the word designates”; it involves only the ability to use the word in accordance with certain linguistic rules.

The logic of a formalized language may ensure that no universal or existential statement is excluded from significance merely on account of its universal or existential form and also friedricu for every significant statement its denial is also significant. However, in ” Pa ” the object a is simply named or referred to, and the property P ascribed to it — and it seems that every statement of this form must be contingent.

This idea, which may be called “the truth theory of meaning,” had been employed and stated by philosophers before the discussions of the Vienna circle. But the form of our experiences, he claimed, is expressible and communicable, and this is all that is required for scientific knowledge.

If a sentence is used to describe an experienceable state veriviability the world, then the semantic rules governing its frieddich relate those predicates, directly or indirectly, to that state of the world.

The truth of a statement can be defined in terms of its meaning in the following way. In the case of a basic predicate it may be held that 1 an essential part of the use of the predicate is to identify a property, 2 an ability to use the predicate to identify the relevant property does not constitute knowing its use, unless the user also knows what the ability consists in, and 3 the user cannot be said to know this if it is impossible for him to have any kind of experience of berifiability property in question.


Thus, unless a further explanation of the expression “observation predicate” is forthcoming, we have no way of distinguishing between those basic observation statements walsmann are meaningful and those that are not.

Verifiabiilty in Create an account.

Barnes – – Philosophy 14 But the statement “Reality is One” is not empirically verifiable in the ordinary way. But, unlike the advocates of operationalism, they meant by “the method of verification” not an actual procedure but the logical possibility of verification.

Routledge and Paul, And finally, if the meaning of a sentence were identified with the experiences of a frieddich person, the verifiability principle would result in a radical form of solipsism. In either case, there is the difficulty of explaining how these statements are related to the experiences that would verify them.

In some of the earlier formulations of the verifiability principle it is presented as a criterion for distinguishing between meaningful and meaningless propositions.

Hempel claims for his criterion that it avoids many of the difficulties of the earlier formulations of the verifiability principle. The vocabulary and syntax of a formalized empiricist language ensures that no meaningless statement will be admitted as significant, even by occurring as a component of a verifiable molecular statement. Problems Raised by the Principle.

Moritz Schlick and other waimann positivists sometimes said that the meaning of a sentence is the method of its verification. But — leaving aside sentences expressing analytic statements — for a sentence to have “cognitive,” “factual,” “descriptive,” or “literal” meaning for example, “The sun is 93 million miles from the earth” it was held that it must express a statement that could, at least in principle, be shown wismann be true or false, or to some degree probable, by reference to empirical observations.

Find it on Scholar. One of the most serious difficulties he encounters is that of giving a veerifiability account of confirmability. The principal objections to this requirement are: Reprinted in Philosophy and Psycho-analysis.

Firedrich may be fairly objected, however, that this argument rests on the ambiguities of the words meaning, stands forverifiabilitj designates ; for example, the sense in which a term may be said to have a “tactual meaning” if it designates something tactual is not the sense in which a sentence may have a “cognitive or factual meaning.

Watling have proposed that for a molecular statement to be verifiable, either directly or indirectly, it must contain “only components whose deletion leaves a statement which entails verifiable statements not entailed by the original statement, or does not rfiedrich verifiable statements entailed by the original statement.


It has some affinities with pragmatism and operationalism, but it differs from them in some important respects. Consequently, in the case of such a sentence as “This is red,” there is a natural tendency to say that the meaning of the sentence is given by the experience that would verify it. Similarly, Hempel, in his article “Problems and Changes in the Empiricist Criterion of Meaning”discussed the proposal that a sentence has cognitive meaning if and only if it is translatable into an empiricist language.

According to their doctrine, if a statement can be known to be true a priori, then it is analytic and tautological and hence not a statement of fact.

University of Illinois Press, The most distinctive doctrine of the logical positivists was that for any sentence to be cognitively meaningful it must express a statement that is either analytic or empirically verifiable. Thus, according to this view, the meaning, or rather a meaning, of the term length is given by specifying a set of operations to be carried out with a measuring rod.

The more detailed analysis of a semantic rule — that is, an account of how such rules function in a language — is a difficult matter that we need not attempt here. As will appear in more detail later, there are two main replies to this: The verifiability principle is then presented as a criterion for distinguishing between meaningful and meaningless statements.

Kneale – – Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 19 1: Logic and Philosophy of Logic categorize this paper. What can or cannot be said of statements applies equally to propositions, except that a proposition cannot be meaningless, that is, it cannot be expressed by a meaningless sentence.

Journal of Symbolic Logic 12 3: Consequently, it is said, it is not possible to give a general criterion of the meaningfulness of a sentence. Pragmatism, as presented by C.


Schlick, for example, said that the verifiability principle is “nothing but a simple statement of the way in which meaning is waiwmann assigned to propositions, both in everyday life and in science. Cite this article Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography. The Relevance of Psychology to Logic. But consider the position of a philosopher who maintains that he uses certain sentences to make statements about the world, although these statements are not verifiable in any sense at all.

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