more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 5164

[catalogued under 19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 5. Meaning as Verification]

Full Idea

In the improved version, a statement was verifiable, and consequently meaningful, if 'some observation-statement can be deduced from it in conjunction with certain other premises, without being deducible from those other premises alone'.

Gist of Idea

A statement is meaningful if observation statements can be deduced from it


A.J. Ayer (Introduction to 'Language Truth and Logic' [1946], p.15)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'Language, Truth and Logic' [Penguin 1974], p.15

A Reaction

I.Berlin showed that any statement S could pass this test, because if you assert 'S' and 'If S then O', these two statements entail O, which could be some random observation. Hence a 1946 revised version had to be produced.