What were the main criticisms that were articulated to refute logical positivism, who articulated them, and why were they so successful in displacing the movement from its previous stature?
Though Popper's critique of the inductive nature of the verification principle was influential, it is the related arguments of Reichenbach, Quine, Hempel, Sellars which most definitively refute verificationism in its Logical Positivist form. Reichenbach, Quine (in Two Dogmas of Empiricism) and Sellars (in Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind) point out in similar ways that there is no way to semantically separate sentences about sense experience from other sentences, a distinction upon which LP rested in its attempt to show that all sentences could be reduced to a formal language about sense experience. Hempel focussed on the fact that the verification principle was not itself verifiable. Some of the key Logical Positivists themselves, including Carnap, seem to have anticipated these problems to some extent.
The main element of logical positivism was verificationism. This led to the attitude, that only propositions proven by verification are worth to discuss in philosophy. So metaphysics and ontology had to be ignored according to Vienna circle as they cannot be proved by objective methods.
The problem with this view, articulated mainly by Karl Popper, was that for verification of a proposition, one needs absolute truths on which he can base the verification. This is known as the Münchhausen Trilemma. Popper as founder of falsificationism in his critical rationalism, a kind of historic fallibilism, stated that there is nothing we can be 100% sure about, there is ALWAYS the chance of being wrong. We can only falsify current knowledge and develop more exact, consistent and coherent theories. This is the current paradigma believed by most natural scientists.
I foundy only a german diagram of this famous trilemma, use translation if it is not self-explaining
The nature of knowledge is different, hence, the tools to verify the knowledge are different. First, this paradigm overstated the notion of verification. Second, it failed to take into account that there are spheres which may not be proven in a scientific way.
Science has a better alternative position. Science does not deal with any notion that can not be scientifically tested. This way, its neutrality towards Metaphysics remains an important contour for its large-scale acceptance even in traditional societies.
On the contrary, Logical Positivism was aggressive and rejectionist and saw attacks on its own since no knowledge, human knowledge, is perfect. It has to go through a constant process of revision. This way an alternative discourse of what things are and how they should be and should not be failed miserably in attracting large subscribers.