Yesterday, I published Part I of this “Great Debate” between Colin and myself at https://adask.wordpress.com/2015/03/02/a-great-good-debate/
Here’s Part II:
Adask (original comment):
This distinction may be important since, so far as I know, it’s logically impossible to prove a negative statement. For example, I can’t actually prove that I’m not in Washington DC right now.
So, if I were to base some line of courtroom defense on my claim that I’m [not] in Washington, DC, technically, I may not be able to prove that negative statement. Therefore my claim might be dismissed by the court.
Yes you can. If you prove that you’re currently in New York, or Atlanta, or Dallas, or San Francisco, or any place that’s geographically outside of the borders of Washington, DC, then you’ve proven that you aren’t in Washington, DC. Because there’s no secret definition of “Washington DC” that somehow includes the rest of the country.
I assume you meant “not” in DC, based on your previous writing, so I added it—let me know if I’m wrong.