Philosophy and Psycho-Analysis

Philosophy and Psycho-Analysis

Philosophy and Psycho-Analysis

Philosophy and Psycho-Analysis

Excerpt

'The meaning of a statement is the method of its verification.' Some philosophers bring out this principle with confidence and satisfaction; other are utterly opposed to it and cannot understand how anyone can be so wrong-headed as to insist upon what so little reflection shows to be so palpably untrue. This conflict is of the greatest importance in philosophy to-day, and it is easy to see why. The Verification Principle is the generalization of a very large class of metaphysical theories, namely all naturalistic, empirical, positivistic theories. While its opposite, which I venture to call the Idiosyncracy Platitude, is the generalization of all common-sense, realist, transcendental theories. The verification principle is the generalization of such theories as: A cherry is nothing but sensations and possibilities of more; A mind is nothing but a pattern of behaviour; There are no such things as numbers, only numerals, and the laws of logic and mathematics are really rules of grammar; Beauty is nothing but the features in respect of which a thing is beautiful, and the feelings these arouse. According to the idiosyncracy platitude every sort of statement has its own sort of meaning, and when philosophers ask 'What is the analysis of X-propositions?' the answer is that they are ultimate, that 'everything is what it is and not another thing' (Butler, quoted by Moore on the title- page of Principia Ethica ). This principle is the generalization of theories such as: Ethical propositions involve value predicates and are ultimate; Psychological propositions are not reducible to physiological propositions, they are ultimate; Mathematical propositions are necessary synthetic propositions -- an ultimate sort of proposition; Statements about nations are not to be reduced to statements about individuals, they are about a certain sort of concrete universal.

There are not other answers to these metaphysical questions. Consequently most or all metaphysical conflict finds expression in 'Shall we or shall we not accept the principle that the meaning of a statement is the method of its verification?' and sometimes 'Is the verification principle true?' I do not at all wish to . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.