Logical Empiricism

Logical Empiricism
   1) The Value of Modern Analytical Empiricism
   Modern analytical empiricism . . . differs from that of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume by its incorporation of mathematics and its development of a powerful logical technique. It is thus able, in regard to certain problems, to achieve definite answers, which have the quality of science rather than of philosophy. It has the advantage, as compared with the philosophies of the system-builders, of being able to tackle its problems one at a time, instead of having to invent at one stroke a block theory of the whole universe. Its methods, in this respect, resemble those of science. I have no doubt that, in so far as philosophical knowledge is possible, it is by such methods that it must be sought: I also have no doubt that, by these methods, many ancient problems are completely soluble. . . . Take such questions as: What is number? What are space and time? What is mind, and what is matter? I do not say that we can here and now give definitive answers to all these ancient questions, but I do say that a method has been discovered by which, as in science, we can make successive approximations to the truth, in which each new stage results from an improvement, not a rejection, of what has gone before. (Russell, 1961, pp. 788-789)
   2) The Grand Theses of Logical Empiricism Have Not Turned out to Be Correct
   Not a single one of the great theses of Logical Empiricism (that Meaning is Method of Verification; that metaphysical propositions are literally without sense; that Mathematics is True by Convention) has turned out to be correct. It detracts from the excitement of the fact that, by turning philosophical theses into linguistic ones [as Carnap had tried to do] . . . one can make philosophy more scientific and settle the truth value of philosophical propositions by hard scientific research, if the results one obtains are uniformly negative. (Putnam, 1975, p. 20)

Historical dictionary of quotations in cognitive science. . 2015.

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Logical positivism — (also known as logical empiricism, scientific philosophy, and neo positivism) is a philosophy that combines empiricism the idea that observational evidence is indispensable for knowledge with a version of rationalism incorporating mathematical… …   Wikipedia

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  • empiricism — empiricist, n., adj. /em pir euh siz euhm/, n. 1. empirical method or practice. 2. Philos. the doctrine that all knowledge is derived from sense experience. Cf. rationalism (def. 2). 3. undue reliance upon experience, as in medicine; quackery. 4 …   Universalium

  • logical positivism — Also known as logical empiricism and scientific empiricism; the ideas and attitude towards philosophy associated with the Vienna circle. This group was founded by Schlick in 1924, and in effect ended with his death in 1936 and the dispersal of… …   Philosophy dictionary

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