By Frederick Charles Copleston
Among them, the hobbies of Logical Positivism and Existentialism ruled philosophy in Europe for far of the twentieth century, and the impression they exerted can nonetheless be felt this day. during this book Frederick Copleston presents an in depth and aim creation to those hugely debatable parts of contemporary inspiration. initially written in 1956, and revised in 1972, it explores the paintings of a number of the most crucial thinkers of the 20 th century, together with Ayer, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Sartre and Camus. Written in a transparent and available type, this e-book should still turn out priceless to an individual trying to find a normal advent to both of those influential philosophical events.
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Extra info for Contemporary Philosophy: Studies of Logical Positivism and Existentialism
Accordingly, if he makes the statement that absolute being exists, this must, for psychological reasons (omitting all consideration of immediate intuition or of revelation) be due to his recognition of some aspect or feature of empirical reality, reflection on which leads him to make the statement. If, then, the statement is made that absolute being exists, one can, in a sense, " derive " the statement that at least one contingent being exists, not because one can logically deduce the latter statement from the former statement, but because the existence of absolute being could not be normally known or thought of unless the existence of contingent being were first recognized.
And if this condition cannot be fulfilled, the metaphysical statement will be excluded from the class of meaningful statements. But this procedure obviously lies open to the objection that a nonmeaningful statement is here taken to be equivalent to a non-scientific statement. The metaphysician might then comment that he never intended to make a scientific statement and that if the positivist cares to assert that a metaphysical statement is meaningless because it is not a scientific statement, he is using the terms "meaningful" and "meaningless" in a technical sense which he is quite free to adopt if he chooses, but which nobody else can be compelled to accept and which gives rise to unnecessary confusion.
But I willingly admit that the problem of " the meaning of meaning " is a real problem, and that it is not simply the instance of tiresome word-play that it has sometimes been represented as being. When it comes to ethical statements, however, I must confess that I find it difficult to see how a really plausible case can be made out for saying that such statements are " meaningless," or, more accurately, that they have only emotional significance. It has been argued that ethical statements cannot be meaningless, since we can argue, and do argue, concerning the rightness and wrongness of actions.
Contemporary Philosophy: Studies of Logical Positivism and Existentialism by Frederick Charles Copleston