Statement P: Ayer Had a Problem with Time

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Statement P: Ayer Had a Problem with Time

Post  John on Thu Feb 23, 2012 12:59 pm

Ayer's discussion in Language, Truth, and Logic, involves the (in)famous Verification Principle with all of its faults. One of the lesser discussed issues is the dilemma Ayer faces when notions of the past are invoked. You see, according to Ayer, either statements of the past are meaningless, due to the fact that they are unverifiable, or they can be verified by present and future experiences. An example might be, P: Ayer Had a Problem with Time. Assuming we all understand the colloquial use of the terms involved, it seems that any justification I could surmise for this statement (now that Ayer is dead) would rely on present experience.

The underlying question is, "Are all statements of the past simply disguised statements about the present and future?"
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