Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on July 29, 2013

in Science, Scientism

… is from pages 56-57 of Morris R. Cohen’s profound and wise 1944 book, A Preface to Logic:

But an undiscriminating acceptance of empiricistic operationalism has identified the process of verification with the very existence of meaning, and led to the consequent assertion that metaphysical and ethical propositions are meaningless because unverifiable.  A little reflection, however, shows that while the verification of any hypothesis does depend upon its having meaning (in the sense of logical consequences) it is quite arbitrary to assert that those consequences must be of the special kind involved in certain physical experiments.  And it is clearly a metaphysical dogma of doubtful verifiability to assert that there is nothing in the world other than physical events or operations.

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