Observation and Protocol Statement

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Abstract

PHILOSOPHICAL discussions about our know ledge of the external world have drifted more and more towards linguistic considerations. This is mainly the case with logical positivism, which asserts the importance of the logic and language of science at the expense of metaphysics. In this line of thought, Dr. Schultzer asks himself the question, How can an observation be validly registered in language? A close analysis of the condition of observation and of the content and structure of the so-called “protocol statements” (elementary propositions about direct observations) shows him that the only possible way of answering it correctly is by stating explicitly the presuppositions of a valid linguistic formulation of observations tacitly recognized by every empirical observer. It is the discussion of these presuppositions which forms the object of this book. Even if the results obtained are not final, Dr. Schultzer's treat ment of the problem, especially when he proposes alternatives to the narrow orthodoxy of the Vienna circle, is both refreshing and useful.

Observation and Protocol Statement

Dr.

Bent

Schultzer

By. Pp. ix + 151. (Copenhagen: Levin and Munksgaard; London: Williams and Norgate, Ltd., 1938.) 7s. 6d. net.

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G., T. Observation and Protocol Statement. Nature 143, 1003 (1939) doi:10.1038/1431003d0

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