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Verification Principle


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Vienna Circle
1920s group of philosophers
Logical Positivism
from this came the verification principle
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Picture theory of language which influenced the philosophers in the Vienna Circle
logical positivists argued
for language to be meaningful it has to follow certain principles of science and maths in order to be verifiable by empirical testing, logic or experience
Analytic statements
true by definition (eg. a circle is round) A priori statements that contain their own verification
Mathematical statements
2+2=4
Synthetic statements
true or false by empirical testing. a posteriori statements - ie; Birds fly. & theoretical statements like 'there is life on other planets'
A.J.Ayer in 'language truth and logic'
observed that since the existence of God could not be rationally demonstrated, it was not even probable.
Strong Verfication
a statement that is true, such as 'the grass is green'.
Weak Verfication
Where there is not absolute certainty, but there is a strong likelihood of truth because of the evidence. Ie 'William the conqueror won the battle of Hastings'