positivism, logical

positivism, logical
   A movement that arose out of the group of early twentieth-century philosophers known as the 'Vienna Circle', whose members included Rudolf Carnap and Otto Neurath, logical positivism sought to reduce philosophy to science with the verification principle, which stated that all meaningful statements are either analytic or have identifiable verification conditions. Statements that fail to fit into one of these categories are, strictly speaking, meaningless. The most notable casualties of this austere principle were metaphysics, ethics and theology. Thus, on this view, 'Jesus loves me, this I know' is no more cognitively meaningful than 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves did gyre and gimble in the wabe'. Logical positivism flourished in the 1920s-30s while being popularised in English philosophy through A. J. Ayer's influential book Language, Truth and Logic (1936). The movement maintained supremacy in Englishspeaking philosophy into the 1940s until internal difficulties, including successive failures to defend the verification principle from the problem of self-referential defeat, led to its abandonment. Despite this traces of it still linger on, for example, in the work of W. V. Quine.
   Further reading: Ayer 2001; Ayer 2004; Biletzki and Matar 1998

Christian Philosophy . . 2015.

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