13

In conventional medicine, the relevant definition is clinically effective -- basically that there is a statistically significant effect in a suitably controlled (and randomized) test sample. This includes accounting for the placebo effect. If a treatment is clinically effective, that should satisfy the logical positivists. It is not impossible for ...


8

My reading of Carnap's "The Elimination of Metaphysics Through Logical Analysis of Language" suggests to me that it is possible to form sentences in a language that are grammatically correct but logically meaningless. The consequence of this is that the statement, due to its logical incoherence, cannot be proven to be true or false. And likewise, if a ...


7

What you call "Positivism" there is but a crude description of a principle that has been associated with them. Let's consider a more faithful description of the so-called empiricist criterion of meaningfulness: Criterion. (Hempel 1965b) A sentence makes a cognitively significant assertion, and thus can be said to be either true or false, if and ...


6

The definition of any of these terms is going to be controversial, but your first problem is that your definition of a priori is wrong. The traditional definition is "knowable independent of (any particular) experience". Now, analytic truths (traditionally conceived) are a priori knowable, but just because the analytic truths are a subset of the a priori ...


6

Since I can't search all of Popper's works to see if it is addressed anywhere, I'll give an answer based on a specific work. A minimal answer: In a footnote in The Logic of Scientific Discovery Popper states: "Note that I suggest falsifiability as a criterion of demarcation, but not of meaning." This is in a section where he's discussing positivism. In ...


6

The Logical Positivists did not accept synthetic a priori knowledge. They accepted only Hume's Fork, two kinds of knowledge, as you suggested in the question. Logical Positivism was not a single shared opinion, but a variety of opinions and arguments under a shared general approach. We can take A.J.Ayer's Language, Truth And Logic (1936) as one ...


6

Gödel was a young man in search of a place to belong, many young intellectuals were attracted to the Vienna Circle for its pluralism and tolerance. But it wasn't purely social. Gödel was clearly interested in mathematics, in 1925-26 Schlick, the circle's founder, gave lectures on philosophy of mathematics which Gödel attended. But it was Carnap, who really ...


5

The logical positivists hardly subscribed to verificationism, but your question is about verificationism, not about logical positivists, so that's a minor quibble. Would a statement that is otherwise easily verifiable using empirical means, but is located so far away in space, that a light signal from earth could never reach its location in time to test its ...


5

First, one has to make clear which of the many gods is meant. Because theistic people in different religions speak about many different gods: The Olympic gods from the time of Homer, the Egyptian gods, the Vedic gods, the Hinduistic gods, the monotheistic Jewish and Christian god named Jahwe, and many more. Secondly, in Christian theology the attempt to ...


5

Carnap was a comptabilist. From the Carnap's "Philosophical Foundation of Physics" as quoted in the "Cambridge Companion to Carnap" p 303: Free choice is a decision made by some one capable of foreseeing the consequences of alternate action and choosing that which he prefers. There is no contradiction between free choice understood in this way and ...


5

Usually Karl Popper is credited with having contributed to the death of logical positivism, so no, I wouldn't say Karl Popper is a logical positivist. That being said, many analytic philosophers after logical positivism still kept much of the attitude of positivism, such as logical analysis, defining ones terms, skepticism towards "grand" metaphysical ...


4

Hume's basic premise is that worthwhile information must contain: abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence When we're talking about abstract reasoning as to quantity or number, we're talking about words and symbols that represent things. The abstraction of a thing is not an actual thing,...


4

Quoting Wikipedia, ” Carnap envisioned a universal language that could reconstruct mathematics and thereby encode physics.[9] Yet Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorem showed this impossible except in trivial cases, and Alfred Tarski's undefinability theorem shattered all hopes of reducing mathematics to logic.[9] Thus, a universal language failed to ...


4

This question needs quite a bit of unpacking. For a start, one must distinguish between truth and evidence. To a realist, something may be true without there being any evidence for it. I have no evidence as to whether it rained on Lands End in England at noon on May 1st of the year 1 CE, and I strongly suspect that no such evidence exists or will ever come ...


4

This question largely boils down to a question of definitions -- but these are politically contentious definitions. As such, I want to divide my answer into three parts: (a) difficulties with your definition of philosophy, (b) problematic or questionable interpretative choices regarding the "existentialists", and (c) is existentialism philosophy when these ...


4

Philosophy is a rare field where self-definition is a major topic within the field itself. The definition you proposed and the one you cited have been promoted by those who practice some prominent variants of philosophy. To the extent that they are widely accepted, they appear to affirm those schools of philosophy and delegitimize the others. As you might ...


4

The OP is very close to Quine's considered view of necessity, as e.g. in Pursuit of Truth: "In respect of utility there is less to be said for necessity than for the propositional attitudes. The expression does serve a purpose in daily discourse, but of a shallow sort. We modify a sentence with the adverb 'necessarily' when it is a sentence presumed ...


4

The author you quote seems to be oversimplifying, but it is possible to understand some work of the logical positivists as an attempt at a purely syntactic approach to expressing the relation between evidence and hypothesis. Rudolf Carnap, in particular, attempted to set out a formal logic of induction in which inductive probabilities can be derived from ...


4

It would be worthwhile distinguishing between a conditional sentence in the object language and a conditional in the metalanguage. Some deductive arguments have a conditional in the object language, e.g. those of the form modus ponens or modus tollens. Some arguments do not, e.g. those of the form conjunction elimination, disjunction elimination, etc. But ...


3

Popper proposed falsifiability as a demarcation criterion for science, not all knowledge. In his work he never declared that all truth claims needed to be falsifiable. Thus there is no issue since the principle of falsifiability is not a scientific claim, it is a claim about science. He referred to these non-scientific, but coherent, claims as "...


3

It is often said that the demise of logical empiricism allowed a renewal of metaphysics in the late 20th century. Kripke (naming and necessity) and Putnam (the meaning of meaning) are often credited for their semantic arguments allowing a renewal of essentialism and realism, i.e. their semantic leaves room for metaphysics. Quine (two dogma of empiricism) ...


3

The difference between the realm of a priori / a posteriori and analytic / synthetic is that that one is an epistemological notion(acquisition of knowledge) and one is a semantical notion (definitions of words). The a priori / a posteriori distinction tells us whether we know something by sitting in our armchair and thinking about it (a priori), or by going ...


3

Philip Kitcher's (1993) The Advancement of Science (Worldcat link) is the account of science I think of as closest to a contemporary version of Logical Empiricism/Positivism. Kitcher might deny that, and certainly his rhetoric in the book suggests he feels he's moved far away from that position. But when it comes down to it, some of us agree that he ends up ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible