A datum on the reception of the 'Verifiability Criterion of Meaning'
One of my pet views about logical empiricism is that the verifiability criterion of meaning, for those who actually espoused some version of it (as opposed to attributed it to someone else), often does not mean exactly what the average professional philosopher in 2011 thinks it means.
I just stumbled across a new data point that suggests the reception of the verifiability criterion was more accurate than the straw-man version popular today. Here's Susan Stebbing, in 1933's "Logical Positivism and Analysis":
A proposition is understood only if it is verifiable; it is verifiable if, and only if, we know the conditions under which the proposition would be true, and the conditions under which it is false.(p.13)Just as Carnap says in "Overcoming Metaphysics through Logical Analysis of Language," the meaning of a sentence is given by its truth-conditions. (One cannot be a complete revolutionary about the verifiability principle: the texts rule that out. Discussions of observations appear in treatments of the verifiability principle--these 'truth-conditions' are often further articulated as something like 'sets of possible experiences,' where 'possible' is taken very broadly.)