Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

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Verification, philosophy: verification means determining the truth value ("true" or "false") of statements that refer to the observable. The admissible means of verification are determined by the theories, the statements belong to. See also verificationism, confirmation, certainty, empiricism, foundation, proof, manifestation, understanding, generalization.

Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

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I 297
Verification/Knowledge/Epistemology/Realism/Naturalism/Millikan: our problem of the recognition of identities is different from the ordinary recognition problem of the realists.
With us, it is not about the existence of an inner test for the correct image of the world. We just need to show that there can be tests that...
I 298
...determine whether concepts, when applied under normal conditions, can produce mapped sentences.
Correspondence/Coherence/Tradition/Millikan: for the tradition it must be coherence, if correspondence is not the right one.
Test/Millikan: E.g. the heart can only be tested together with kidneys.
Language/meaning/reference/world/reality/image/Millikan: we are only trying to understand how there can be a test that has historically been applied to human concepts in this world, and whose results are correlated with the world for reasons, which we can specify.
Problem: we are more handicapped here than the realism.
I 299
It is about the possibility of meaningfulness and intentionality at all.
Holism/MillikanVsHolism: epistemic holism is wrong.
Instead, a test for non-contradiction, if applied only to a small set of concepts, would be a relatively effective test for the adequacy of concepts.
I 312
Concept/Law/Theory/Test/Review/Millikan: if a term occurs in a law it is necessary,...
I 313 test it together with other concepts. These concepts are linked according to certain conclusion rules.
Concept/Millikan: since concepts consist of intensions, it is the intensions that have to be tested.
Test: does not mean that the occurrence of sense data would be predicted. (MillikanVsQuine).
I 317
Theory/Review/Test/MillikanVsQuine/Millikan: is it really true that all concepts must be tested together?
Tradition: says that not only some, but most of our concepts are not of things we observe directly but from other things.
Test/Logical Form/Millikan: if there is a thing A, that is identified by observing effects on B and C, is then the validity of the concepts of B and C together with the theory that traces back the observed effects on the influence of A, tested together with the concept of A?
Millikan: No!
From the fact that my intension of A goes back to intensions of B and C does not follow that the validity of the concepts governing B and C is tested when the concept governing A is tested and vice versa.
This is not the case if A is a definite description, for example, the "first president of the USA", and it does not follow if the explicit intension of A represents something causally dependent. For example, "the mercury in the thermometer rose to the mark 70" as an intension for "the temperature was 70 degrees".
I 318
Concept/Millikan: Concepts are abilities - the ability to recognize something as self-identical.
Test/Verification: the verifications of the validity of my concepts are quite independent of each other: e.g. my ability to make a good cake is quite independent of my ability to smash eggs, even if I have to smash eggs to make the cake.
I 320
Test/Review/Theory/Millikan: That a test works can often be known regardless of knowing how it works.

Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution.

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-10-24