What is the Verification Principle?

The Verification Principle (VP), developed by A J Ayer in Language, Truth and Logic (1936), was a set of criteria that determined what constitutes meaningful language. Inspired by the Wittgensteinian picture theory of language and the correspondence theory of truth, the verification principle adopted the realist, cognitivist view of language, which meant that it only dealt with factual statements that reflect the external world. A group called the Vienna Circle, chaired by Schlick, which advocated a philosophical movement called ‘logical positivism’, influenced Ayer. Logical positivism was the notion that only statements that could be proved logically were meaningful. Ayer, in the attempt of widening the scope for meaningful statements, also developed empirical positivism that also enables statements that could be empirically verified to be meaningful.

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