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A. J. Ayer (1910–1989)

Author of Language, Truth and Logic

44+ Works 4,515 Members 31 Reviews 5 Favorited

About the Author

After attending Eton and Oxford University, Sir Alfred Jules Ayer studied philosophy at the University of Vienna, where he affiliated with the Vienna Circle, the school of logical positivism led by Moritz Schlick. On his return to England, he accepted an appointment in 1933 as lecturer at Oxford, show more and, except for his military service during World War II, he wrote and taught philosophy until his death. During World War II, Ayer was commissioned into the Welsh Guards, and in 1945 was an attache at the British Embassy in Paris. In 1946 he was appointed Grote Professor at the University of London and in 1959 Wykeham Professor of Logic at Oxford. Ayer's fame was established with the publication of his first book, Language, Truth and Logic, in 1936. This work introduced logical positivism to the English-speaking world in a clear, vigorous, and persuasive style. Building on the thought of Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein, Ayer sharpened their theses, boldly revealing the affiliations of logical positivism with traditional British empiricism, particularly the work of David Hume. Ayer claimed that only verifiable statements are true or false. He considered statements of religion or art as merely emotional expressions. For his contributions to philosophy, Ayer was knighted by the British Crown. He has provided an account of his life, at least of its professional and philosophical sides, in two autobiographies. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by A. J. Ayer

Language, Truth and Logic (1936) 1,734 copies
The Problem of Knowledge (1956) 473 copies
Logical Positivism (1959) 224 copies
Russell (1972) 178 copies
Wittgenstein (1985) 143 copies
Probability and Evidence (1972) 66 copies
Philosophical Essays (1901) 58 copies
Thomas Paine (1988) 57 copies
Voltaire (1986) 56 copies
Part of my life (1747) 56 copies
The Meaning of Life (1990) 26 copies
More of My Life (1984) 11 copies
Philosophy and language (1960) 7 copies
The humanist outlook (1968) 5 copies
Proposiciones básicas (2010) 2 copies
On Toleration (1987) 1 copy
Privacy 1 copy

Associated Works

Philosophy of Science: The Central Issues (1998) — Contributor — 297 copies
Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings (2002) — Contributor — 286 copies
Atheism: A Reader (2000) — Contributor — 181 copies
Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology (2000) — Contributor — 74 copies
On the logic of the moral sciences (1965) — Introduction, some editions — 58 copies
The Range of Philosophy: Introductory Readings (1964) — Contributor — 52 copies
Leibniz (1954) — Foreword, some editions — 49 copies
Wittgenstein and the problem of other minds (1967) — Contributor — 47 copies
The Reader's Guide (1960) — Contributor — 32 copies
Reading Philosophy of Religion (2010) — Contributor — 10 copies


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