The logical empiricist picture of the world

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.

— David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, 1777, Section XII, Part 3

I made this diagram as an attempted summary of logical empiricism.1

We can then think of various counters to logical empiricism within this framework. For example, Kripke denies the Kantian thesis. In “Two dogmas of empiricism”, Quine attacks all three vertices of the golden triangle. I may write a post about these in the future.


  1. The above construction, in javascript, might break one day. Backups are in .png and .xml

Written on August 1, 2017