An Explanation Of The Theory Of Meaning Essay

1867 Words Aug 20th, 2015 8 Pages
The verificationist theory of meaning asserts that a statement’s meaning and whether it is meaningful or not lies in its method of confirmation or disconfirmation. This is a compelling, yet inadequate, theory. In this paper I will focus on exploring and explaining how this theory proves problematic. I will claim that this theory is immediately inadequate, since many sentences have no method of verification, based purely on content. If this were the case it would mean that outside of a scientific setting (i.e. ideally one where facts and experience are concerned) a sizeable amount of statements would be meaningless. Thus I will argue that the verificationist theory fails at addressing its own purpose, as it is inadequate for fully explaining and judging the validity of a statement outside of a rigid, factually-based setting. I will firstly explain this theory, and how it generally proves to be ineffectual and false. Following that I will then explore what I see to be the most prominent issues with verificationism.
Stemming from empiricism and incorporating Hume’s ideas regarding the distinction between synthetic and analytic statements, logical positivism was influenced by the great amount of scientific advancement occurring at the time. The logical positivists actively sought to reject metaphysics and other such groundless grandstanding as being utter nonsense and having no basis for being meaningful. This formed the basis of the verificationist theory of meaning…

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