I am going to descricbe what Logical Positivism is and what I think is the tenets of it, then I am going to some history of the idea with it roots to the rise and fall in popularity of Logical positivism
Logical Positivism is an epistemological system that says that anything that is not empirically verifiable or an tautology is meaningless and therefore not worth any consideration. There is a weaker version of verificationism that A.J. Ayer (an proponent of logical postivism) made in respond to Criticism of that tenet that says that a claim can said to be true if the sense render it highly probable .Another Tenet of Logical Positivism is the analytic and synthetic distinction. which says that true statements are either of analytic type meaning that it true by definition. or it is or the Synthetic type meaning that claims are true by meeting your chosen standards (in logical postivism case, it is verificationism).
Logical Positivism has it’s roots in classical empiricism which appeared in the 17th century with early proponents such as Francis Bacon John Locke who Assert that all knowledge comes from experience and not from the use of reason to acquire it. An later empiricist, David Hume who now famous for the problem of induction and the is-ought problem came up with Hume’s Fork. Hume’s fork says that there true in and of them selfs and things that are true by empiricial evidence as the below quote by David Hume will explain.
“If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number? No. Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? No. Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion.” (An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding)
Kant came up with the Analytic/Synthetic distinction since he thought that the a priori/a posteriori distinction was not enough.then Auguste Comte came up with positivism which asserts that the only vaild source of knowledge is the senses. Auguste comte also thought that science progresses in three stages with the first being theology (meaning that it relies on the claim that god exists is true), then the metaphysics, before finally being focused on the physical.
Logical positivism appeared during the early 20th century and designed to be a challenge against metaphysics. Logical postivism became popluar for a few decades before criticism from detractors like Karl Popper, late Ludwig Wittgenstein (although he was orginally an proponent of logical postivism) and Quine drove the popluarity of it down.
I decided to type this post because I consider myself to be a logical positivism (a variant of it at least, but I will explain in a later post) as of time that I am typing this blog post. I am not going to be defending my version of logical positivism here, But I will do so in future posts (after I explain what it is first of course).