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Neopositivism

The third stage of the positivistic philosophy is the neopositivism. Its emergence was connected with the so-called Vienna philosophical circle activity. Its founder was an Austrian philosopher M. Schlick. He suggested to divide all statements into three groups: true, false and meaningless ones. To the meaningless statements the untestable sentences belong. That is a sentence is either true or false or non-testable (i. e. meaningless). He worked also on the means of verification (the examination on confirmation). Many scientific statements cannot be checked directly but only through a shorter or longer line of intermediate statements. Let us pretend, we need to check up a theoretic statement T (non-testable directly). With T’ it gives out some statement T1 (non-testable directly also), which with T’’ together gives some T2 ... In short in the end we shall get some Tn tested directly.

 

 

T T’

       
   


T1 T’’

 
 


 

T2

 
 


- - - -

 

Tn ­­­­­­­~ V

 

The examination has turned out to be very conditioned ─ we get not the confirmation of the initial T but that of the whole succession T─T’─T1─T’’─...─Tn. If in the end we get a refutation of the Tn, it means that any element of the succession can be a source of mistake. That is virtually we are free in which element we shall restore and which we shall reject. The latter contains the context of the so-called Duhem-Quine Thesis, which asserts that the choice of what to restore and what to reject is arbitrary.

The problem of the verification doubtfulness was tried to solve by K. Popper, who suggested the method of falsification (the examination on refutation) in place of that of verification. According to this method a scientist should endeavor not to prove the theory, he’s working on, but to refute it. And only in the case when he cannot succeed in it, the theory gets right to existence until some another scientist could refute it. This approach, in compliance with Popper, would permit to avoid any dogmatism in science. But what about the refutation itself the method of falsification cannot provide more reliable results in comparison with the method of verification. Virtually all results are confirmed or refuted in some or other context with all other results of it together. The contextuality of results was reflected in the so-called theory of lingvo-conceptual frameworks. According to this theory every science or even a domain in frame of it has its own framework and any statement is meaningful only in the according framework limits and meaningless beyond them. For example, Aristotle asserted that lighter bodies fall slower than the heavier ones, the modern physics asserts that the speed (and acceleration) of fall do not depend on the weight. Does it mean that the modern physics refutes Aristotle? No, it doesn’t. Because both these statements were made inside of different frameworks that makes them incompatible.



The representatives of neopositivism tried also to elaborate a universal language of science which would be suitable to any domain of knowledge. So the programs of reducing all existing sciences languages to the language of physics (the so-called physicalism) and to the language of observable data (the so-called phenomenalism) appeared. But the further development of that showed them fruitless. The interest to the linguistic problems of science led to some conclusions. Thus it was demonstrated that many philosophical problems are purely linguistic with no proper context. So B. Russell, for example, noted the coincidence of the consistently developed solipsism with the absolute realism (look chapter 1). Eventually the neopositivism finishes with L. Wittgenstein’s philosophy of the usual language. Wittgenstein stated that the most part of the philosophic problems arises because of the incorrect using of the usual language. The sense of the usual language words, according to his approach, is determined by their use. In usual speech they are used correctly, in the philosophical discourse ─ incorrectly, that distorts their initial correct meaning. The philosophic problems are result of this distortion. Philosopher is like a fly which having flied into a bottle through its narrow neck is unable to fly out. The task of the true philosophy consists in purifying the usual language from philosophical handicaps and clearing out the primal sense of its words.

 

 


Date: 2014-12-21; view: 282


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