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  1. Margaret Macdonald on the Argument from Dreaming.Oliver Thomas Spinney - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 74 (3):962-977.
    In this article, I offer a detailed examination of Margaret Macdonald's response to the Cartesian sceptical argument from dreaming. I show that Macdonald's views were not well understood by her contemporaries, and I suggest that this misunderstanding has led to her omission from subsequent discussions of this subject. I end with a brief demonstration of the fact that Macdonald's central claims have re-emerged in contemporary epistemology.
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  • Unresolvable disagreements in Carnap’s metametaphysics.Andreas Vrahimis - 2021 - Metaphilosophy 52 (2):234-254.
    Carnap’s 1931 attack against metaphysics notoriously utilises Heidegger’s work to exemplify the meaninglessness of metaphysical pseudo‐statements. This paper interprets Carnap’s metametaphysics as concerned with delimiting theoretical dialogue in such a manner as to exclude unresolvable disagreements. It puts forth a revised version of Carnap’s argument against the viability of metaphysics, by setting aside his stronger claims that rely on verificationism and focusing instead on his account of metaphysical claims as mere expressions of what he calls “Lebensgefühl,” or a general attitude (...)
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  • Logical Positivism: The History of a “Caricature”.Sander Verhaegh - 2024 - Isis 115 (1):46-64.
    Logical positivism is often characterized as a set of naive doctrines on meaning, method, and metaphysics. In recent decades, however, historians have dismissed this view as a gross misinterpretation. This new scholarship raises a number of questions. When did the standard reading emerge? Why did it become so popular? And how could commentators have been so wrong? This essay reconstructs the history of a “caricature” and rejects the hypothesis that it was developed by ill-informed Anglophone scholars who failed to appreciate (...)
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  • Vindicating the verifiability criterion.Hannes Leitgeb - 2024 - Philosophical Studies 181 (1):223-245.
    The aim of this paper is to argue for a revised and precisified version of the infamous Verifiability Criterion for the meaningfulness of declarative sentences. The argument is based on independently plausible premises concerning probabilistic confirmation and meaning as context-change potential, it is shown to be logically valid, and its ramifications for potential applications of the criterion are being discussed. Although the paper is not historical but systematic, the criterion thus vindicated will resemble the original one(s) in some important ways. (...)
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  • Did A. J. Ayer Bring Logical Positivism to England?Artur Koterski - 2023 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 100 (3):253-276.
    Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic (1936) was immediately regarded as a clear and faithful presentation of the views of the Vienna Circle to English-speaking readers. Since Ayer wrote this book after his visit to Vienna, where he participated in the meetings of the Circle, one may often hear to this day that he brought logical positivism to England. However, while Ayer’s conception was a form of logical positivism, it significantly differed from its Viennese counterpart(s). The key discrepancies are related to (...)
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  • Different Roles for Multiple Perspectives and Rigorous Testing in Scientific Theories and Models: Towards More Open, Context-Appropriate Verificationism.Peter Cariani - 2022 - Philosophies 7 (3):54.
    A form of context-appropriate verificationism is proposed that distinguishes between scientific theories as evolving systems of ideas and operationally-specified, testable formal-empirical models. Theories undergo three stages : a formative, exploratory, heuristic phase of theory conception, a developmental phase of theory-pruning and refinement, and a mature, rigorous phase of testing specific, explicit models. The first phase depends on Feyerabendian open possibility, the second on theoretical plausibility and internal coherence, and the third on testability. Multiple perspectives produce variety necessary for theory formation, (...)
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  • Justified True Belief: The Remarkable History of Mainstream Epistemology.Sander Verhaegh - forthcoming - Journal of the History of Philosophy.
    This paper reconstructs the origins of Gettier-style epistemology, highlighting the philosophical and methodological debates that led to its development in the 1960s. Though present-day epistemologists assume that the search for necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge began with Gettier’s 1963 argument against the JTB-definition, I show that this research program can be traced back to British discussions about knowledge and analysis in the 1940s and 1950s. I discuss work of, among others, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, A. J. Ayer, Norman (...)
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  • Language, Truth, and Logic and the Anglophone reception of the Vienna Circle.Andreas Vrahimis - 2021 - In Adam Tamas Tuboly (ed.), The Historical and Philosophical Significance of Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave. pp. 41-68.
    A. J. Ayer’s Language, Truth, and Logic had been responsible for introducing the Vienna Circle’s ideas, developed within a Germanophone framework, to an Anglophone readership. Inevitably, this migration from one context to another resulted in the alteration of some of the concepts being transmitted. Such alterations have served to facilitate a number of false impressions of Logical Empiricism from which recent scholarship still tries to recover. In this paper, I will attempt to point to the ways in which LTL has (...)
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  • Dimensional Analysis: Essays on the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Quantities.Mahmoud Jalloh - 2023 - Dissertation, University of Southern California
    This dissertation draws upon historical studies of scientific practice and contemporary issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of science to account for the nature of physical quantities. My dissertation applies this integrated HPS approach to dimensional analysis—a logic for quantitative physical equations which respects the distinct dimensions of quantities (e.g. mass, length, charge). Dimensional analysis and its historical development serve both as subjects of study and as a sources for solutions to contemporary problems. The dissertation consists primarily of three related (...)
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  • Thought, Language, and Reasoning. Perspectives on the Relation Between Mind and Language.Hannes Fraissler - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Luxembourg
    This dissertation is an investigation into the relation between mind and language from different perspectives, split up into three interrelated but still, for the most part, self-standing parts. Parts I and II are concerned with the question how thought is affected by language while Part III investigates the scope covered by mind and language respectively. Part I provides a reconstruction of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s famous Private Language Argument in order to apply the rationale behind this line of argument to the relation (...)
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  • Making Sense of Thompson Clarke's "The Legacy of Skepticism".Roger Eichorn - 2021 - Sképsis: Revista de Filosofia 23 (12):70-102.
    Thompson Clarke’s seminal paper “The Legacy of Skepticism” (1972) is notoriously difficult in both substance and presentation. Despite the paper’s importance to skepticism studies in the nearly half-century since its publication, no attempt has been made in the secondary literature to provide an account, based on a close reading of the text, of just what Clarke’s argument is. Furthermore, much of the existing literature betrays (or so it seems to me) fundamental misunderstandings of Clarke’s thought. In this essay, I attempt (...)
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