Philosophical Quarterly 71 (3):457-480 (2021)

Ben Blumson
National University of Singapore
A. J. Ayer’s empiricist criterion of meaning was supposed to have sorted all statements into nonsense on the one hand, and tautologies or genuinely factual statements on the other. Unfortunately for Ayer, it follows from classical logic that his criterion is trivial—it classifies all statements as either tautologies or genuinely factual, but none as nonsense. However, in this paper, I argue that Ayer’s criterion of meaning can be defended from classical proofs of its triviality by the adoption of a relevant logic—an idea which is motivated because, according to Ayer, the genuinely factual statements are those which observation is relevant to.
Keywords Verificationism  Relevance Logic  Relevant Logic  Logical Positivism  Logical Empiricism  A. J. Ayer  Paraconsistent Logic  Modal Logic
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DOI 10.1093/pq/pqaa071
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References found in this work BETA

Language, Truth, and Logic.Alfred Jules Ayer - 1936 - London: V. Gollancz.
Logical Pluralism.Jc Beall & Greg Restall - 2005 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Taming of the True.Neil Tennant - 1997 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
The Logic of Paradox.Graham Priest - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):219 - 241.

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