What is logical positivism, you ask?
A form of logical positivism is dated back to Comte in the 1800s, with us, the Vienna Circle, now building upon his ideas along with the Berlin Circle. The view of logical positivism under Comte was divided human thought into different categories: theological, metaphysical, and positive or scientific. We maintain Comte’s view that positivism should be the basis for all scientific work, focusing our efforts on verifiability criterion of meaning, working to eliminate all non-verifiable claims from science and philosophy.
The foundation of logical positivism is verificationism, which, according to a global encyclopedia, dictates that a statement or question is only legitimate if it can be proven true or false, or if the question can be answered. Math and deductive logic can be verified because their system is that of deduction, where new concepts are pulled from a universally-accepted set of ideas. The disciplines are comprised of tautologies, or formulas which are true for every possible interpretation. This is a form of rationalism.
Meanwhile, our empirical ties connect with our view of science, a field where conclusions are valuable if they are based on observations by the senses.
It is okay to start the base of our knowledge on speculation as long as we actually move on from that and verify our thoughts. We must conduct experiments, observe, and prove whether our speculation is true or false.
Concepts such as ethics and aesthetics are relative; they change from person to person, so even though they may have personal meaning they have no collective relevance.
Other concepts such as theology and metaphysics are neither true nor false, and they can never be proven, rendering them meaningless. There is no point to further study of these divisions of philosophy.
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For something to be objective, it can’t be influenced by personal feelings or prejudices. The power in science lies in it’s ability to be proven by the deductive system of logic and math or verified in the empiricist manner. You hear what I hear, I see what you see. What weakens science is when the method is invaded by theology or metaphysics, constituting it as meaningless as the philosophical branches themselves. It’s also up to the individual connecting the research: are they following the scientific method?
What is the value in thought void of observation, endless hours spent contemplating things which can never be proven? Was was Plato thinking? Much like Aristotle, we can respect Plato while still strongly opposing his approach to knowledge. Constant internal questioning and mulling over different concept does not result in purposeful knowledge.
More and more, science bases itself on experiments and observations, which constitute more purposeful endeavors than solely speculative inquiries. Science has the ability to be objective, and with the separation of religion from science we are more able to reach this potential. Still, many branches of science attempt to answer questions far beyond their reach, reducing their immediate value.
Let us leave with a thought that highlights the risks of improper observation, and therefore scientific conclusions.
While Descartes wrote a book, Discourse on the Method, in which he describes that our “heartbeat” is simply the swelling of the heart caused by the change in temperature as blood enters and exits the organ. Descartes even asks anyone who does not know much about anatomy to go look at an animal’s body, for at the time is was very frowned upon and nearly impossible to dissect a human bodies. If someone wanted to see how a heart worked they would look at an animal’s.
Descartes was in part trying to prove his theory; however, as he could not conduct experiments on human bodies, his proof was unreliable, and we nowadays very much hope that our doctors do not think that by warming up our heart it will start beating again….