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A Priori

And if the set of universes where statement A is true is identical to the set of universes where statement B is true

They're not, because A and B assert different things.

A Priori

Dictionaries don't define complex scientific theories.

Our complicated , bad, wrong , neo-geocentric theory is still a geocentric theory.

Therefore it makes different assertions about the territory than heliocentricism.

A Priori

Whether something is empiricly unknowable forever is itself unknowable ... it's an acute form of the problem of induction.

it doesn’t matter what's inside it

But that isn't quite the same as say ing that statements about what's inside are meaningless. A statement can be meaningful without mattering. And you have to be able to interpret the meaning, in the ordinary sense, in order to be able to notice that it doesn't matter.

A Priori

Semantically and ontologically. The dictionary meanings of the words heliocentric and geocentric are opposites, so they assert different things about the territory.

Note that this the default hypothesis. Whatever I just called "dictionary meaning" is what is usually called "meaning" simpliciter.

Attempts to resist this conclusion are based on putting forward non standard definitions of "meaning", which need to because argued for, not just assumed.

This Territory Does Not Exist

You can respond by taking ontological terms as primitive,

That's not what I said. I said that you made a claim based on nothing but intuition, and that a contrary claim based on nothing but intuition is neither better nor worse than it.

Every one of the arguments I’ve put forward clearly applies only to the kinds of ontological statements

The argument that if it has no observable consequences, it is meaningless does not apply to only ontological statements.

A Priori

You’ll need more than just epicycles to make the geocentric model yield accurate predictions

It takes more than literal epicycles , but there are any number of ways of complicating a theory to meet the facts.

But still—if we could, it will not be different than a correct model

Of course it is different. Heliocentricism says something different about reality than geocentricism.

This Territory Does Not Exist

My problem with ontological statements is they don’t appear to be meaningful.

You certainly started by making a direct appeal to your own intuition. Such an argument can be refuted by intuiting differently.

Those reasons apply to ontological statements and not to other statements.

You don't have any systematic argument to that effect. Other verificationist s might, but you don't.

There's a tradition of justifying the verification principle as an analytical truth, for instance. Your rr invention of verificationism is worse than the original .

The Short Case for Verificationism

don’t significantly undermine the ability to make claims about ontology.

This Territory Does Not Exist

But you shouldn't apply your beliefs to ontological statements . If the problem with ontological statements is that they don't constrain beliefs, it's unreasonable to except other statements that don't constrain beliefs.

The Short Case for Verificationism

Since the argument does not mention probability, it doesn't refute the counterargument that unlikely scenarios involving simulations or multiple universes don't significantly undermine the ability to make claims about ontology.

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