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Empirical Statements And Falsifiability

  • Carl G. Hempel (a1)
Abstract

1. Object of this note. In his lively essay, “Between Analytic and Empirical,” (Philosophy, April 1957), Mr. J. W. N. Watkins challenges the empiricist identification of synthetic statements with empirical ones by arguing that there exists an important class of statements which are synthetic, i.e. not analytically true or false, and yet not empirical. I find Mr. Watkins's arguments very stimulating, but I do not think they provide a sound basis for his contention. In the present note, I wish to indicate what seem to me the principal flaws in Mr. Watkins's reasoning, and to make some additional comments on the issues raised by his discussion.

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R. Carnap , “Testability and Meaning,” Philosophy of Science, Vol. 3 (1936), pp. 419–71, and Vol. 4 (1937), pp. 1–40;

Cf., for example, my articles “The Concept of Cognitive Significance: A Reconsideration”, Proc. Amer. Acad. of Arts and Sciences, Vol. 80, No. I (1951), pp. 6177;

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Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0031-8191
  • EISSN: 1469-817X
  • URL: /core/journals/philosophy
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