Kant wrote in the Metaphysics of Natural Science

If we ·keep mathematics out of the picture and· think of the doctrine of the soul merely as a systematic art of analysis or as an experimental doctrine, it still falls wells short of chemistry, ·in three ways:

(i) & (ii) ...

(iii) With mental events, unlike chemical ones, an observed event can be altered and distorted by the mere fact of being observed. So the doctrine of the soul can’t be anything more than . . . a natural description of the soul, not a science of it, and not even a psychological experimental doctrine

In the propositional theory of language, developed through Frege to Wittgenstein; is it correct to say that a certain fixed meaning is given to a proposition; and that through the Correspondance Theory of Truth? Granted the truth of Kants observation in (iii) how can such a theory take that into account - or has it been already?

  • There’s a paper by Jesse Prinz (downloadable PDF) entitled “ The Return of Concept Empiricism”. Might be of some assistance. Apr 1, 2015 at 22:08
  • @jimpliciter: interesting essay on concepts and categories; unfortunately, it seems to only have a tangential bearing on bearing on what I was asking about. Apr 2, 2015 at 10:04

2 Answers 2


The three issues (observer effects, proposition theory, correspondence theory ) do not seem to me related. Kant seems to speak, in that place,  about empiricial psychology and about the introspection of mental events . Frege and Early Wittgenstein did not deal with introspection or psychology. Both related truth and falsity  to abstract linguistic (not mental) entities. Early Wittgenstein did held a version of the correspondence theory of truth, but Frege did not.

  • 1
    I wasn't intending to suggest that they were related directly by Wittgenstein/Frege; it's more a matter whether an interesting theory could be developed in that direction Apr 3, 2015 at 11:51
  • @Moz A question about the potential for interesting theory might not be optimal for Stack Exchange. . Apr 3, 2015 at 12:03
  • @tobolski: I think you are right... Apr 3, 2015 at 13:39

Insofar as the Correspondence Theory of Truth represents truth, No.

The Observer Effect describes the effect that measuring a physical phenomenon has on the phenomenon - testing tire pressure lowers measured tire pressure slightly by releasing air to the pressure meter.

Correspondence Theory of Truth states that an event is true insofar as it is observable in nature. Scientific method proves nothing; it disproves. Truth does not exist in nature, only in the abstract.

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