A J Ayer

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  • A J Ayer - Verificationism
    • General points
      • Definitions of Verification
        • 'Verifiability in Principle' = Statements we could check if we had the facility to check them
          • 'There is life on other planets in the Galaxy Milky Way' - if we had the technology to find out we could do it
      • Language tells us something about the way the world is
    • Strengths
      • Reminds us that we should be artful when speaking about God
      • Distinguishes between sense and nonsense
      • Supports the design argument for God as is uses a posterior evidence
      • Supports the claim of afterlife and religious experience
    • Weaknesses
      • This makes most statements meaningless even when people think they make sense
      • Swinburne - 'All ravens are (at all times) black' can technically be verified but impossible as you have to see all ravens in the world therefore for verificationistsit's meaningless
      • There can be no statement made about history as you cannot go back in time and observe whats already happened
  • Influenced by science - stresses the importance of sense-observation
    • General points
      • Definitions of Verification
        • 'Verifiability in Principle' = Statements we could check if we had the facility to check them
          • 'There is life on other planets in the Galaxy Milky Way' - if we had the technology to find out we could do it
      • Language tells us something about the way the world is

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