Definition Of An Experiential Proposition Essays

Definition Of An Experiential Proposition Essays

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The criterion of verifiability says that a sentence is meaningful if and only if it has some relation to observation. The message Ayer is trying to establish is the meaningfulness of some sentence by relating it to some set of observation sentences, and does not require the observations to be made. All that is required is that in principle we can make those observations. Ayer defines meaningfulness in terms of what he calls strong verifiability and defines meaningfulness in terms of either conclusive verification or conclusive falsification. The first attempt at defining meaningfulness in terms of strong verification is to say that a sentence is meaningful if and only if it is conclusively verifiable. A second attempt is to say that a sentence is meaningful if it is conclusively falsifiable. Ayer responds to this suggestion by claiming that no generalization can either be conclusively verified or falsified by experience. Ayer’s definition of verifiability says:
“Let us call a proposition which records an actual or possible observation an experiential proposition. Then we may say that it is the mark of a genuine factual proposition, not that it should be equivalent to an experiential proposition, or any finite number of experiential propositions, but simply that some experiential propositions can be deduced from it in conjunction with certain other premises without being deducible from those other premises alone." (pg 38-39) It states that a sentence has empirical concerns, and hence is meaningful, if adding it to some supply of propositions changes, which observation sentences follow from that stock of propositions.


Falsifiability, as defined by the philosopher, Karl Popper, defines the inherent testability of any scientific hy...


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...' hypotheses nonetheless. In short, falsifiability seems not sufficiently restrictive, admitting as 'scientific ' some hypotheses that do not seem to warrant such classification. Another example is a hypothesis like proton decay which, strictly speaking, can not be falsified because no matter how long one failed to observe decay, it remains possible that it could still happen. So if we Suppose P and Q are falsifiable theories (in the Popperian sense). Then it seems to me that 'P and Q ' is a falsifiable theory. However, it seems to me that, even if P and Q are falsifiable theories, the sentence 'if P, then Q ' needn 't be. That 's kind of weird, because for example the statement "if P and Q, then Q" is a logical tautology. Thus, its clearly true. But Popper seems to suggest that, for most choices of P and Q, this claim is unfalsifiable, and therefore unscientific.

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