Experience and Prediction: An Analysis of the Foundations by Hans Reichenbach

By Hans Reichenbach

First released in 1949 expressly to introduce logical positivism to English audio system. Reichenbach, with Rudolph Carnap, based logical positivism, a sort of epistemofogy that privileged clinical over metaphysical truths.

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IV ( 1937), 1. 17 Cf. the discussion on the progress of Prague, 1929, reported in Erkenntnis, I ( 1930), 268-70. -76- however, be postponed until he has given some additional information concerning a determination of his "degree of confirmation" and the rules of operating with it. From our point of view, all these questions are answered by the theory of probability, and chapter v will present our answers in detail; but, if the interpretation in terms of probability is not accepted by Carnap, he must develop a theory of his own about degrees of confirmation.

As we showed, it is the logical function of this principle to cut off any surplus meaning which might be supposed in a proposition beyond its verifiable content. , a proposition which does not use these terms, but which has the same truth-value as the first one for all possible facts, then both propositions have the same meaning. Thus the "metaphysical" proposition is deprived of its pretended surplus meaning and reduced to an equivalent nonmetaphysical proposition. This process of cutting off metaphysical claims was first insisted upon by the nominalists of the Middle Ages.

But though this be true, we have the feeling that such a justification by logical meaning does violence to what we really think. We do not agree that we accept a sentence about the temperature in the interior of the sun only because we can imagine a thermometer which obediently continues to perform its functions in conditions under which all other bodies are vaporized. We do not believe that physical statements concerning the structure of the atom have meaning only because we can imagine our own body diminished to atomic dimensions, watching the movement of the electrons as we watch the sun's rising.

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