Mind map including both the strong and weak verification principles and some criticisms of it

  • Created by: JMitch
  • Created on: 29-05-13 11:23
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  • Verification Principle
    • Weak Verification
      • A.J. Ayer recognised the difficulties with strong Verification so adapted the principle
      • Argued that language has meaning if you can show how you would verify it
        • E.g. there is life in the Milky-way would be verifiable if you found it
      • Also can use past evidence to build up a case of probability
        • Observations over time have verified that 'all humans are mortal'
      • For God though: we know nothing of God as there is no way we can sense him, other than he exists and is transcedent
        • Ayer argued therefore that 'God talk is evidently nonsense'
    • Strong Verification
      • Initially influenced by Wittgenstein: 'Whereof one cannot speak one must remain silent'
      • Vienna Circle
        • Principle proponents of the notion
        • Included people like Rudolf Carnap and Mortiz Schlick
      • Verification is the principle that what we say needs to be verified to have meaning
      • Verification can be as a result of a tautology - E.g. Bachelors are unmarried men
      • Knowledge is also gained through the senses so this is another method of verification - e.g. My car is red - can be seen
      • Criticisms
        • Too rigid a system
        • Means that statements of History are unverifiable
        • Scientific Laws are unverifiable - E.g. Gravity is a constant cannot be verified because you cannot be in all places at one time
      • Talk of God, religion or atheism can not be verified by the sense or a tautology so is therefore meaningless
    • Criticisms
      • Eschatological Verification
        • Hick argued that 2 travellers argued on a road whether they would reach a Celestrial City at the end - Verifiable at the end of the journey
          • Argued therefore that God talk is verifiable at the end of life - BUT is this meaningful?
      • Swinburne's Toys in the Toy cupboard
      • Verification is unverifiable as it is not a tautology
      • Does Religion have to be verifiable for it to have meaning for believers
      • Ayer dismisses Religious Experiences as evidence


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