Essay on Logical Positism and the Vienna Circle

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Logical Positism and the Vienna Circle

Moritz Schlick and A.J. Ayer were both logical positivists, and members of the Vienna Circle. They had differing yet concentric views on the foundations of knowledge, and they both shared the quest for truth and certainty.

Moritz Schlick believed the all important attempts at establishing a theory of knowledge grow out of the doubt of the certainty of human knowledge. This problem originates in the wish for absolute certainty. A very important idea is the concept of "protocol statements", which are "...statements which express the facts with absolute simplicity, without any moulding, alteration, or addition, in whose elaboration every science consists, and which precede all knowing, every
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This is a matter of the ultimate basis of knowledge of reality, and it is not sufficient to treat statements of "ideal constructions" (in a Platonic fashion) but one must concern oneself with real occurrences, with events that take place in time, and in which the making of judgments consists, hence with psychic acts of thought, or physical acts of speaking or writing. These acts of judgment are suitable for establishing inter-subjectively valid knowledge when translated into verbal or written expressions. Protocol statements come to be regarded as certain phrases which are not meaningful. When we retrace the path by which we arrive at all our knowledge, we always come up again the same source: sensory experiences and through the opinions of other people. On this view protocol statements would be real happenings in the world and would temporally precede the other real processes in which the production of an individual's knowledge consists. He is not concerned who expressed the correct view, but what the correct view is. The two views, that statements register simple data of observation and stand temporally at the beginning could also be those that by virtue of their structure would have to constitute the logical starting-point of science.

A.J. Ayer seeks in his article "Verification and Experience" to determine the truth or falsehood of empirical propositions. The customary

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