As I wrote in my post “You Can’t Prove a Negative”, this claim—that you can’t prove a negative—is a silly urban legend of logic that needs to die.
So it came up again on Twitter, and someone was kind enough to direct me to an essay by another philosopher addressing this same absurd bit of “folk logic” (as he aptly calls it).
I think it is worth reblogging, so here is Steven D. Hales “You Can Prove a Negative”:
THINKING TOOLS: YOU CAN PROVE A NEGATIVE
Steven D. Hales
A principle of folk logic is that one can’t prove a negative. Dr. Nelson L. Price, a Georgia minister, writes on his website that ‘one of the laws of logic is that you can’t prove a negative.’ Julian Noble, a physicist at the University of Virginia, agrees, writing in his ‘Electric Blanket of Doom’ talk that ‘we can’t prove…
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