Philosphy A.J. Ayer’s Language, Truth, Logic
A.J. Ayer :Truth, Language, and Logic
General Directions: Please address each of the following questions in your essay
1)Apply Ayer’s criterion of verifiability to each of the following statements. Which statements pass his test of cognitive meaningfulness, and which ones fail? Explain briefly also WHY each statement does or does not pass his verifiability test.
1)”Act only on the that maxim through which you can at the same time will that it should become universal law”
2) All white carnations are white
3)Abortion is wrong
4)”Our passional nature not only lawfully may, but must, decide an option between propositions, whenever it is a genuine option that cannot by its nature be decided on intellectual grounds”
5) “Tautologies and empirical hypotheses form the entire class of significant proposition”
7) The rolling stones are the greatest rock band.
2)What does Ayer mean by “cognitive meaningfulness” ( or “literal significance”)? How does cognitive meaning differ from emotive meaning? Suppose Nietzsche and Thomas Kuhn are right in claiming the “facts cannot be separated from values, that even the most rigorous scientific method involves interpretation, and that even the most precise observation is theory-laden”. What then are the implications for any sentence tested by Ayer’s criterion of verifiability?
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