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logical positivism

Logical positivism, also known as logical empiricism, is a philosophical attitude which holds, among other things, that metaphysics, more or less, is bunk. According to the positivists' "verifiability principle," a statement is meaningful if and only if it can be proved true or false, at least in principle, by means of experience. Metaphysical statements cannot be proved by means of experience. Therefore, metaphysical statements are meaningless.

Critics of logical positivism have pointed out that since the verifiability principle itself cannot be proved true or false by means of experience, it is therefore meaningless.

See also naturalism and scientism.


further reading

books

Friedman, Michael.  Reconsidering Logical Positivism (Cambridge University Press, 1999).

Giere, Ronald N. and Richardson, Alan W. (ed.), Origins of logical empiricism (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press,1997).

website

"Logical Positivism" in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Last updated 23-May-2012

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