Although "beliefs" may refer to the private psychological states of
human beings (thus allowing the possibility of "beliefs" which cannot be
expressed in language), for those who held the empiricist consensus, "beliefs"
are restricted to what can in some sense be made public (and thus open
to analysis) by being communicable in the meaningful expressions, or "sentences"
of some language. Insofar as a sentence in a "natural language"
(e.g. English of German) can be "ambiguous" or can be given different meanings,
we may be justified in believing it under one possible meaning and not
justified in believing it under another; we would have in effect two different
beliefs. Thus to members of the consensus, those beliefs which one can
be justified in believing must be statements expressed by unambiguous sentences
of an artificial "ideal" artificial language in which all meaningful
expressions can be given precise meanings. As "scientific knowledge"
may be considered the entire body of rationally justified beliefs about
the world humans experience, another element of the consensus was its "linguistic"
view that "science" in effect refers to a very large group of "statements"
expressed in a special artificial "language" of precisely defined scientific