The Verification Criteria of Meaning states that the meaning of an empirical sentence is its own verification conditions.

Empirical statements are those statements whose truth is not intrinsic to the statement itself. In order for an empirical statement to be proven true, it must be scientifically verified (meet certain verification conditions) by observable phenomenon. The VCM claims that the verification conditions that must be met are defined by the meaning of the sentence itself.

For example, consider the empirical statement, βThe temperature is 68'F.β The meaning of this statement is that the temperature is 68'F. According to the VCM, in order to prove this statement is truthful, you must meet the verification condition that the temperature is indeed 68'F. To do this, you can look at a thermometer. If the thermometer claims that the temperature is 68'F, you have met the verification conditions, and have proven the empirical statement true.

The VCM is itself an empirical sentence, because it is not an intrinsically true statement. Because the VCM is empirical, it seems logical to apply it to itself. When applied to itself, the VCM states that its own verification conditions are its meaning. Unfortunately, (according to the VCM) its meaning is also its own verification conditions. This recursive cycle continues into infinity.

The VCM, having no observable verification conditions to prove its truth, seems to βcommit suicideβ and prove itself false.