Article/Publication Details

The Semantics of Empirical Unverifiability

(Original title: The Semantics of Empirical Unverifiability)
Organon F, 2015, vol. 22, No 3, pp. 358-377.
Language: English
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Abstract

Pavel Cmorej has argued that the existence of unverifiable and unfalsifiable empirical propositions follows from certain plausible assumptions concerning the notions of possibility and verification. Cmorej proves, it the context of a bi-modal alethic-epistemic axiom system AM4, that (1) p and it is not verified that p is unverifiable; (2) p or it is falsified that p is unfalsifiable; (3) every unverifiable p is logically equivalent to p and it is not verifiable that p; (4) every unverifiable p entails that p is unverifiable. This article elaborates on Cmorej’s results in three ways. Firstly, we formulate a version of neighbourhood semantics for AM4 and prove completeness. This allows us to replace Cmorej’s axiomatic derivations with simple model-theoretic arguments. Secondly, we link Cmorej’s results to two well-known paradoxes, namely Moore’s Paradox and the Knowability Paradox. Thirdly, we generalise Cmorej’s results, show them to be independent of each other and argue that results (3) and (4) are independent of any assumptions concerning the notion of verification.

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