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mid term study guide

mid term study guide - Will Cliff Logical Positivism...

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Will Cliff 4/23/10 Logical Positivism Primarily empiricist point of view that knowledge comes from sensory experience, yet uses mathematics as a tool as it is analytic a priori knowledge. First group to take a stance on Empiricism. Supported idea that the only source of knowledge is experience. Primary Doctines o Analytic/Synthetic Distinction o The Verification of Meaning The Verification of Meaning A non-analytic statement is only meaningful if it is verifiable by a sense experience. Example of a sentence that is meaningless according to its proponents: o Freud’s Oedipus complex: it is a nothing-nothing statement because the synthetic statement cannot be tested or proved. o Not possible to test it, you can never really know what one really thinks. Vague because: o Practice v. principle Cant test whether or not there was a fly on Caesars nose. We cannot verify this NOW. The “able” means that in principle we are able to verity it. We cannot put ourselves in a position where we could observationally confirm a lot of synthetic statements. o Phenomonalism: we try and verify things with our senses but our senses could be wrong. We see a tree and that can be confirmed with our senses, but how do we know that it isn’t a fake tree or that we get a false sensory impression. o The verificationist theory of meaning seems to be self-refuting in that it is not easy to see how one could verify by sense experience that it is the correct view of meaning. In-practice verifiability versus In-principle-Verifiability o In practice verifiability states that currently we cannot verify a statement that we may believe to be true… o BUT then In principle verifiability comes into play because potentially we could test this in the future with better technology. Example: The average atmospheric temperature on the nearest extra-solar system planet is 150 degrees. As of now this isn’t verifiable because we cannot verify this now, but maybe we could in the future.
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Analytic versus Synthetic Statements Analytic Statement: a statement that is true or false just in virtue of their meaning. Made to be true simply by the meanings of the terms it contains, and as such it would plausibly be true no matter how the world might be altered. When the world changes, its meaning remains the same… true or false. o Bachelor’s are unmarried. o Triangles have 3 sides Synthetic Statement: a statement that is not analytic. It is not necessarily true based on the meaning of the statement alone because its validity changes when the world changes. o The President of the United States is Barack Obama. There have been 50 presidents of the US—it is not automatically Barack Obama. A priori
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