<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head> <meta charset="utf-8"> <link href="../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../TT_ICO.png" /> <title>Note: Christian Tractatus (Theo Todman's Web Page)</title> </head><body> <a name="Top"></a> <h1>Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages</h1><hr><h2>Christian Tractatus</h2><p class = "Centered">(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)<hr> <P><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>Some form of verification principle is essential, namely, that unverifiable statements have almost certainly no reference. This is because in a contingent world there are infinitely many possibilities.</B><ol type="1"><li>I sympathise with the basic philosophical methods of the logical positivists. This does not imply, however, that I agree with all their underlying aims or with all of the consequences of their approach.</li><li>By logical positivism I mean the view that statements and putative entities whose accuracy or existence cannot be verified by possible sense experience are meaningless.</li><li>However, the foundation principle of logical positivism, that the meaning of any statement is its method of verification, is probably false. This would imply (as in the previous proposition) that unverifiable statements are meaningless rather than having sense but, possibly, no reference.</li><li>I accept Popper's criticism of logical positivism's verification principle : that no amount of positive evidence can verify a general law, though one contrary observation may falsify it. I accept his "Conjectures & Refutations" approach whereby scientific hypotheses are not arrived at inductively but are well-informed guesses (conjectures) which may be refuted by experience but cannot be proved by experience.</li><li>I take it, however, that statements of a particular nature (ie. once off statements about the world, eg. "Napoleon lost the battle of Waterloo") are equally verifiable or falsifiable.</li><li>While I would not go so far as to deny meaning to unverifiable or unfalsifiable statements, I would insist that such statements be treated with caution.</li><li>Both the logical positivists' verification principle & Popper's falsification doctrine are intended as principles of demarcation. The verification principle is intended as a criterion of meaning, to distinguish sense from nonsense. Popper's falsification doctrine is intended to distinguish science from pseudo-science. I am interested in both principles as criteria for evaluating truth claims. In what follows, I will use the term undecidable for unverifiable or unfalsifiable to avoid tedium. </li></ol></P> <BR><HR><BR><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><TR> <TH WIDTH="25%">Note last updated</TH> <TH WIDTH="50%">Reference for this Topic</TH> <TH WIDTH="25%">Parent Topic</TH></TR> <TR><TD WIDTH="25%">12/08/2007 10:17:46</TD> <TD WIDTH="50%">452 (Experiments - Verification)</TD> <TD WIDTH="25%"><A href ="../../Notes/Notes_2/Notes_211.htm">Experiments</A></TD></TR> </TABLE></center> <BR><HR><BR><h3>Summary of Note Links to this Page</h3> <CENTER> <TABLE Class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR> <td bgcolor="#ffcccc" WIDTH="20%"><A href = "../../Notes/Notes_2/Notes_211.htm#1"><span title="Low Quality">Experiments</span></A></TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> <TD WIDTH="20%">&nbsp;</TD> </TR> </TABLE> </CENTER> <P class = "Centered">To access information, click on one of the links in the table above.</P> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><br><hr><br><h3 class = "Left">Text Colour Conventions</h3><OL TYPE="1"><li><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li></OL><BR> <center><BR><HR><BR><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD><TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD><TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-01T03:26" pubdate>01/08/2018 03:26:11</time> <br><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A></TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD><TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD></TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR></BODY></HTML>