Full Text

protocol sentences

ANDY HAMILTON


Subject Philosophy » Epistemology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405139007.2010.x


Extract

“Protocol sentences” or “protocol statements” were defined by Carnap ( see CARNAP ) in The Unity of Science (1932) as belonging to the “direct record of a scientist's … experience”. “A ‘primitive’ protocol … exclude[s] all statements obtained indirectly by induction or otherwise and postulates therefore a sharp (theoretical) distinction between the raw material of scientific investigation and its organisation.” The problem for the logical positivists ( see LOGICAL POSITIVISM ) was how such records of “private experience” could serve as foundational ( see FOUNDATIONALISM ) for the public language of a unified science; in effect, how their empiricism ( see EMPIRICISM ) and their physicalism could be reconciled. Carnap himself was undecided whether protocol sentences should take the form of phenomenalistic sense-datum statements (e.g. most crudely “Joy now,” “Here now blue”) ( see PHENOMENALISM ; SENSE-DATA ), or whether they should be more like ordinary reports of observation (e.g. “A red cube is on the table”); he hoped to escape metaphysical commitment by his use of the distinction between “formal” and “material” modes of speech ( see CARNAP ). Neurath insisted that protocol sentences should make explicit the identity and location of the speaker, and the time of utterance; but later recognized that there is no reason to regard such sentences as foundational ( see ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top