Verificationism, Realism And Scepticism
Author: Okasha, S.
Source: Erkenntnis, Volume 55, Number 3, December 2001 , pp. 371-385(15)
Abstract:Verificationism has often seemed attractive to philosophers because of its apparent ability to deliver us from scepticism. However, I argue that purely epistemological considerations provide insufficient reason for embracing verificationism over realism. I distinguish two types of sceptical problem: those that stem from underdetermination by the actual data, and those that stem from underdetermination by all possible data. Verificationism evades problems of the second sort, but is powerless in the face of problems of the first sort. But problems of the first sort are equally pressing. Furthermore, there is some reason to think that the two types of problem have a common origin. Thus the desire to avoid scepticism provides insufficient reason for adopting verificationism.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: 2001-12-01