What is the Verifiability Criterion a Criterion of?

  • Stuart Brown
Part of the Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures book series (RIPL)

Abstract

As my title implies, I think the verifiability criterion is indeed a criterion of something. I do not intend, therefore, merely to commemorate it. On the other hand I am not sure that those who put it forward in its more liberal forms as a criterion of ‘factual significance’ or ‘literal meaningfulness’ were right in what they identified as the consequence of a sentence’s failing to satisfy it. What I want to argue for, in a somewhat reductionist spirit, is a resurrected version of the ‘weak’ verifiability criterion. My resurrected version will certainly appear more rarefied, in so far as it is independent of (and does not therefore require to be embodied in) empiricism. It will, I hope, also be purified of some of the mortal blemishes from which the criterion, as construed by members of the Vienna Circle, seems not to have recovered.

Keywords

Logical Positivism Clarification 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    And were so dismissed, respectively, by A. J. Ayer (see Language, Truth and Logic, 2nd ed. (Gollancz, 1946) pp. 128 ff.) andGoogle Scholar
  2. Moritz Schlick (see his paper, ‘Positivism and Realism’, Pt 3, trans. D. Rynin, in Logical Positivism, ed. Ayer (Free Press of Glencoe, 1959) pp. 92 f.).Google Scholar
  3. 2.
    For example, in C. G. Hempel’s paper, ‘Problems and Changes in the Empiricist Criterion of Meaning’, Revue Internationale de Philosophic (1950).Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    F. P. Ramsey, in his posthumously published The Foundations of Mathematics (1931)Google Scholar
  5. 1.
    See Schlick’s paper, ‘Die Kausalität der gegenwärtigen Physik’, Naturwissenschaft, XI (1931).Google Scholar
  6. 2.
    See Schlick’s Gesammelte Aufsätze, p. 153 ff., relevant parts of which are quoted in translation by Waismann in his The Principles of Linguistic Philosophy (Macmillan, 1965) ch. XV.Google Scholar
  7. 3.
    See Logic and Knowledge, ed. R. C. Marsh (Allen & Unwin, 1956) p. 376.Google Scholar
  8. 1.
    Modern British Philisophy, ed. Bryan Magee (Secker & Warburg, 1971) p. 56.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Royal Institute of Philosophy 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stuart Brown

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations