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Black Wolf

Is verificationism dead?

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Is verificationism dead? Is it no longer used in a court of law, or by scientists? Is it a good thing that it isn't?

In a court of law, isn't eye witness testimony believed to be true until proven otherwise? Isn't the burden of proof on someone else to prove that the eye witness testimony is incompetent or hallucinating, rather than dismiss the eye witness altogether? Does expert testimony require any burden of proofs?

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I don't agree that verificationism requires us to dismiss eye witness and expert testimony altogether. If coupled with their reputation or history, a person's testimony should be considered evidence (as long as it's a verifiable testimony, in the wider sense of the word - it's something that could have been witnessed, or determined by scientific study. So, if a witness says he saw a murderer, that is evidence; If he says God said the accused is guilty, that's not evidence.)

As for your first question, verificationism isn't dead yet. It is pretty ill though.

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I am trying to understand how this claim could even be verified.

First, are all 5000 watching the whole sequence of time connecting death to resurrection? Or could it be a hoax? Personally, I think this leads to dismissal of most such claims.

Second, are all certain the person who died was the same person who rose up?

Third, are all certain that the person actually died, instead of, say, going into a coma?

etc.

I say dismiss unless verified, and the fact that 5000 people agree on something doesn't make it so ... group hallucinations are so common as to pass for philosophy these days, after all.

- ico

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Verificationism is dead and was never really alive in science. Science requires universal generalizations over many entities. You can't make a universal generalization and be a verificationist. Simple as that.

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Verificationism is dead and was never really alive in science. Science requires universal generalizations over many entities. You can't make a universal generalization and be a verificationist. Simple as that.

But why not? Verificationism, as far as I know, simply refuses to accept arbitrary claims, and place the burden of proof on the person making the claim.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is: What is the difference between verificationism, and the burden of proof principle?

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But why not? Verificationism, as far as I know, simply refuses to accept arbitrary claims, and place the burden of proof on the person making the claim.

I guess what I'm trying to ask is: What is the difference between verificationism, and the burden of proof principle?

No, logical positivism says that any statement needs to be in principle verifiable, empirically. We're dealing with a strict sense of empirical evidence here. It needs to be brought to you. You can't bring to the scientist that "all ravens are black", only that all observed ravens are black.

This is why the logical positivists did not taken subatomic particles to be real entities. They weren't observable, so they weren't real. They were descriptions, not entities themselves.

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And, in a sense, this is correct. Subatomics don't exist except in the context of a particular model of observations. It's a pretty good model, though, and just as I would be loathe to ditch English for Latin, I'd rather keep that model for now, if you don't mind.

:)

- ico

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No, logical positivism says that any statement needs to be in principle verifiable, empirically. We're dealing with a strict sense of empirical evidence here. It needs to be brought to you. You can't bring to the scientist that "all ravens are black", only that all observed ravens are black.

This is why the logical positivists did not taken subatomic particles to be real entities. They weren't observable, so they weren't real. They were descriptions, not entities themselves.

I'm not sure what you're saying, to be honest. Are you saying that logical positivism = verificationism?

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The example of Jesus is a little misleading.

It is one thing to say "I saw a man walk into the shop" - we know this is possible, indeed that it is likely given the nature of shops.

However, when someone says "I saw Jesus was resurrected" it creates an internal conflict. This goes against our premise that resurrection is not something yet scientifically possible, and that magic does not exist, and we are forced to re-examine those premises. Our premise that magic does not exist is a complex one, and is deeply entwined with our metaphysics and our conceptual understanding of reality and observation.

To take the example to its absurdity, what if a witness gave testimony "There is no such thing a sa witness testimony". Or, "Truth cannot be conferred by communication".

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