The vienna circle and the verification principle

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  • Created by: Abitracey
  • Created on: 15-02-13 14:16
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  • The Vienna Circle and the Verification principle
    • Views of the Vienna Circle
      • Came up with the verifcation principle; a statement is only meaningful if it is able to be verified by an actual experience or is a tautology.
      • The logical positivists believed that any statement that cannot be proved or verified is literally nonsense.
      • The logical positivists have thier origins ina group called the Vienna Circle.
      • They believed that some statements were meaningful and others were were not.
      • Tautology= logical statement that we can know to be true by definition.
    • Was this a new idea?
      • The Vienna Circle shared the view that science would provide knowlege and that areas such as metaphysics, religion and ethics should be avoided.
      • The Vienna Circle thinkers were claiming that the existence of God is a meaningless issue; it is nonsense and cannot be discussed in any meaningful way.
      • Empiricists such as Locke and Hume had argued that truth and knowlege were to be found with using empirical evidence.
      • It is not only the religious believer that has problems here. The atheist and agnostic are making equally meaningless statements.
    • Difficulties with the verification principle
      • Scientific laws are also meaningless. To say that gravity is constant at all places on earth is impossible to verify as i can only be in one place at one time.
      • Richard Swinburne pointed out that universal statements cannot be verified.
      • The strong form of the verification principle is too rigid. It suggests that we cannot make statements about history.
      • Any statement about works of art is nonsense.


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