A. J. Ayer: Memorial Essays (Royal Institute of Philosophy by A. Phillips Griffiths

By A. Phillips Griffiths

A. J. Ayer, who died in 1989, was once stated as one among Britain's so much exceptional philosophers. during this memorial number of essays prime Western philosophers give some thought to Ayer's position within the historical past of philosophy and discover facets of his idea and educating. the amount additionally incorporates a posthumous essay via Ayer himself: "A Defence of Empiricism." those essays are certainly a becoming tribute to a massive determine, however the assortment isn't really easily retrospective; really it seems ahead to give and destiny advancements in philosophical notion that Ayer's paintings has encouraged.

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The arguments used to show that only sense-data are directly perceived could then be mobilized to show that all direct perception is of private material objects and that public material objects, spatiotemporally and causally interconnected in a common world, must somehow be constructed out of them. In that case the alternative offered is of the most trivial, merely typographical kind. What is clear is that nobody seems to have paid much attention to it until J. L. Austin criticized it in Sense and Sensibilia (1962).

So, at the beginning of 1930, he started on the formal study of philosophy. The philosophical scene in Oxford at that moment was, for the most part, drab and wintry. Adherents of Cook Wilson, who had died in 1915, exercised a fairly oppressive intellectual authority: H. A. Prichard from the chair of moral philosophy, H. W. B. Joseph as an overwhelmingly energetic college tutor. ) British Hegelianism, in opposition to which the school of Cook Wilson originally defined itself, was represented by H.

It was what he learnt there and from the pages of Erkenntnis, which had started publication, under the editorship of Carnap and Reichenbach, in 1930, that he was inspired to the extraordinary tour deforce of Language, Truth and Logic. 1 Ernest Nagel, a few years older than Ayer, spent the academic year 1934—5 in Europe, his principal stops being Cambridge, Vienna and Warsaw. News of the existence of logical positivism had already been brought to American philosophers by an article about it in the Journal of Philosophy in 1931 by Albert Blumberg and Herbert Feigl.

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