According to Alfred Jules Ayer's first empiricist criterion of meaning: "... we may say that it is the mark of a genuine factual proposition ... that some experiential propositions can be deduced from it in conjunction with certain other premises without being deducible from those other premises alone." Ayer's criterion is supposed to distinguish nonsense, on the one hand, from genuine factual propositions and tautologies, on the other. But if deducibility is interpreted in terms of classical logic, Ayer's criterion is well known to be trivial -- it entails that every statement is either a genuine factual proposition or else a tautology. However, I argue in this paper that if deducibility is interpreted in terms of relevant logic, then Ayer's criterion escapes triviality.

Ben Blumson (National University of Singapore)

Ben Blumson is an Associate Professor in Philosophy at the National University of Singapore. His book Resemblance and Representation defends combining the resemblance theory of pictorial representation with a close analogy between pictures and language. He writes mostly about metaphysics and aesthetics.