By A. Phillips Griffiths
A. J. Ayer, who died in 1989, used to be said as certainly one of Britain's so much individual philosophers. during this memorial number of essays top Western philosophers examine Ayer's position within the background of philosophy and discover elements of his idea and instructing. the quantity additionally encompasses a posthumous essay through Ayer himself: "A Defence of Empiricism." those essays are unquestionably a becoming tribute to a tremendous determine, however the assortment isn't easily retrospective; particularly it seems ahead to provide and destiny advancements in philosophical notion that Ayer's paintings has encouraged.
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Additional resources for A. J. Ayer: Memorial Essays (Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplements (No. 30))
Where he differed with the orthodoxy of Carnap, Neurath and Hempel, rejecting what he labelled as its 'formalism', it was with ideas developed by Schlick. Where Carnap and his allies denied that statements can be compared with extra-linguistic fact and so took basic statements to be adopted by convention, Schlick saw them as direct reports of the facts of experience. 1 Ernest Nagel. 'Impressions and Appraisals of European Philosophy' (first published 1936), in Nagel, 1956. 35 Anthony Quinton A survey of the contents of Language, Truth and Logic will show how comprehensive Ayer's reliance was on the doctrines of the Vienna Circle.
30 Ayer's Place in the History of Philosophy ANTHONY QUINTON When A. J. Ayer arrived in Oxford in the autumn of 1929 he had no thought of becoming a professional philosopher. He intended to go to the Bar, but, in the manner of an Etonian, by way of Literae Humaniores rather than the study of law. He had read a couple of philosophical books. The first of them was Russell's Sceptical Essays (Russell, 1928), which he bought on its first appearance in 1928. The other was Principia Ethica (Moore, 1903), to which he had been led by a reverent aside in Clive Bell's Art (1914).
I once mentioned to Freddie a seminar I knew of in some department at which attendance was compulsory. 'Good God' he said in horror. A book was selected for the term. Week by week someone would either volunteer or be nominated to write something on the reading for the week. Freddie would sit behind his desk, tipping his chair back, with his silver cigarette case in front of him, helping himself to it at regular intervals, pausing between cigarettes only to comb his hair with his fingers or to adjust the knot of his tie or to straighten the silk folds as they fell over his shirt.