Why the attempt to bury metaphysics failed




Logical positivism famously dismissed metaphysics as meaningless. It failed to satisfy the verification criterion, according to which for any statement to be meaningful, it has to be able to be verified empirically. As positivists like A.J. Ayer argued, there are no facts that can verify metaphysical theories like idealism and realism, one way or another. This influential critique was responsible for the dismissal of metaphysics in analytic philosophy for decades. But instead of successfully burying metaphysics, logical positivism in fact ends up espousing a metaphysics of its own, argues Giussepina D’Oro.  This is the 8th installment in our series The Return of Metaphysics, in partnership with the Essentia Foundation. Read the previous articles of …

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