HomeGroupsTalkExploreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Language, Truth and Logic (1936)

by A. J. Ayer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,587129,145 (3.37)20
If you can't prove something, it is literally senseless - so argues Ayer in this irreverent and electrifying book. Statements are either true by definition (as in maths), or can be verified by direct experience. Ayer rejected metaphysical claims about god, the absolute, and objective values as completely nonsensical. Ayer was only 24 when he finished LANGUAGE, TRUTH & LOGIC, yet it shook the foundations of Anglo-American philosophy and made its author notorious. It became a classic text, cleared away the cobwebs in philosophical thinking, and has been enormously influential.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 20 mentions

English (10)  Catalan (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
I read the "squashed" version of the book and I can agree that while it is not "wrong", the content of the book is incomplete. But mostly, it is very intriguing and thought-provoking and it's a good start for enquiring about language and it's relationship with philosophy. ( )
  JorgeCarvajal | Feb 13, 2015 |
"But it must be understood from the outset that we are not concerned to vindicate any one set of philosophers at the expense of any other, but simply to settle certain questions which have played a part in the history of philosophy out of all proportion to their difficulty or their importance." (134)

Language, Truth and Logic is a brief and charmingly audacious effort to retire metaphysics and its related issues. Ayer is a mid-20th-century exponent of the Anglo-American analytical tradition in philosophy (including the work of Bertrand Russell and others) which seeks to reduce the discipline to applications of logic. His arguments are sympathetic to the earlier empiricists and positivists, but show more sophistication in pointing out and sometimes surmounting their shortfalls. I am most in accord with his "emotive theory of values" as a method of dispensing with the philosophical concern over ethics.

Ayers' professed opposition to "schools" in philosophical discourse reminds me of the ultra-Protestant Plymouth Brethren "coming out of sect" in 19th-century England: they paradoxically insist on a narrowing of their field while claiming to transcend distinctions within it.

The 1946 introduction to the second edition consists of Ayers reconsidering and fine-tuning many of the details in the body of the text. Accordingly, I saved it to read until finishing the original eight chapters. In retrospect, however, because of the intricacies of the arguments, a reader would be better advised to read the 1946 remarks in sequence after each individual chapter.

Although mystics (and magicians, to a lesser degree) are unlikely to find this book easy or pleasant, it would be an invaluable supplement to their intellectual diets. After passing through this crucible, they might proceed to the more congenial offerings of a thinker like Gregory Bateson.
4 vote paradoxosalpha | Feb 26, 2012 |
A book on modern Western philosophy.
  austinwood | Sep 19, 2009 |
I know this is a seminal text but I'm finding it a tough read. The writing style is dense, reflecting its origin in the 1930's. It's a challenging book, posing the question of how we judge what truth is. Do we work purely from empirical observation, only accepting propositions that can be logically proven? Or is truth something else, wider, deeper? Perhaps truth value or meaning can be found outside or apart from language, and does not only reside within it? This book proposed that metaphysical and religious language was meaningless, as it could not be empirically verified. Ayer himself, later in life, acknowledged that his verification theory, proposed within this book, is false. However, it had great influence when it first came out which ensures its place on reading lists and bibliographies to this day. ( )
1 vote JuliaF | Jun 15, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ayer, A. J.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Blasco, Josep-LluísTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Russian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The traditional disputes of philosophers are, for the most part, as unwarranted as they are unfruitful.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

If you can't prove something, it is literally senseless - so argues Ayer in this irreverent and electrifying book. Statements are either true by definition (as in maths), or can be verified by direct experience. Ayer rejected metaphysical claims about god, the absolute, and objective values as completely nonsensical. Ayer was only 24 when he finished LANGUAGE, TRUTH & LOGIC, yet it shook the foundations of Anglo-American philosophy and made its author notorious. It became a classic text, cleared away the cobwebs in philosophical thinking, and has been enormously influential.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary
See, hear, feel, smell, taste.
What else is there to discuss?
That sums it all up.

(Carnophile)

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.37)
0.5
1 3
1.5
2 17
2.5 1
3 34
3.5 7
4 31
4.5 3
5 12

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

» Publisher information page

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 171,995,415 books! | Top bar: Always visible