Logical Positivism and Carnap's Confirmability on the Meaningfulness of Religious Language

Espíritu 67 (155):243-249 (2018)
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Due to their acceptance of the verifiability principle, the only way left for logical positivists to argue for the meaningfulness of religious language was to accept some sort of emotivistic conception of it or to reduce it to the description of religious attitude. The verifiability principle, however, suffers from some severe limitations that make it inadequate as a criterion for cognitive meaning. To resolve these problems, logical positivists gave up the requirement of conclusive verifiability and defended a sort of ‘liberalization’ of the verifiability principle. Carnap’s confirmability criterion for cognitive meaning, which is a liberalized form of the verifiability principle, is compatible with an orthodox conception of religious language since, from a theistic perspective, the existence of God can be confirmed through our observational statements.



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Alberto Oya
Universidade Nova de Lisboa

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References found in this work

Testability and Meaning.Rudolf Carnap - 2011 - Literary Licensing, LLC.
Foundations of Logic and Mathematics.Rudolf Carnap - 1937 - Chicago, IL, USA: U. Of Chicago P.
Testability and meaning (part 1).Rudolf Carnap - 1936 - Philosophy of Science 3 (4):420-71.
Testability and Meaning.Rudolf Carnap - 1951 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 16 (2):137-137.
Foundations of Logic and Mathematics.Rudolf Carnap - 1939 - In Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap & Charles Morris (eds.), International Encyclopedia of Unified Science. University of Chicago Press. pp. 139--213.

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