0000024485 00000 n Extract 9: Ayer – Language, Truth and Logic ch6. If you take the British Empiricists and American Pragmatists to their natural conclusion you get the philosophy of Ayer which is mostly, but not completely, aligned with the Vienna Circle logical positivists. Mental ejaculations. The writing is very lucid, with elegant prose - typical of turn-of-the-century British writing. This is the logical operator that has in its range the largest component or components in a compound statement. The whole book is pretty simple: it is a phenomenalist account of empiricism in which sense data is all that exists, but adds to traditional empiricist accounts the idea that a priori truths are not subject to empirical verification not because empiricism is limited, but that a-priori truths tell us nothing new. As it is, you're probably better off not bothering. Comments. 0000016715 00000 n 0000013616 00000 n eNotes.com will help you with any book or any question. Certain provisions qualify this tenet. eNotes plot summaries cover all the significant action of Language, Truth, and Logic. Propositional logic is the study of how simple statements (the basic components in propositional logic) are altered to form compound statements, and the way(s) in which truth is a function of the simple statements and the compounding elements. I agree with this book in everything I can recall from it. Statements can be analytic taulologies (i.e. His reje. pP. 0000022005 00000 n For example, when the planet Neptune was discovered, there was an anomaly with the orbit of Uranus and the discoverers predicted Neptune. It’s interesting to see exactly how it’s supposed to work, and also to get the theory of what philosophy is supposed to be doing (namely, clarifying issues). With the principle of verification, Ayer and the logical positivists take empiricism to the semantic level by focusing on meaning rather than knowledge. Complete summary of A. J. Ayer's Language, Truth, and Logic. In ordinary language, the word “if” typically precedes the antecedent of a conditional: “only if” typically precedes the consequent of a conditional. With the principle of verification in place, Ayer goes on to argue that much of traditional metaphysical philosophy is not merely false but also meaningless nonsense. From 1946 to 1959, he taught philosophy at University College London. If you’re the sort of person who would dismiss the theory based solely on the fact that the verification principle itself would fail the verification principle, it’s worth reading at least the first chapter or two (and certainly the introduction). Other criticisms have been provided by Wittgenstein and William James. Order of operations: The order of handling the logical operators within a truth-functional proposition; it is a step-by-step method of generating a complete truth table. The best, say, 20 pages cobbled together and made a touch more accessible would be pretty great. Summary of first chapter of A.J. December 8, 2017. source. 18/19. Sadly, for a book whose purpose is to lay to rest a lot of philosophical nonsense, it's pretty turgid itself much of the time. That's what most of philosophy is if you follow Ayer. It requires perceptual experience or some sort of empirical investigation to determine whether such propositions are true or false. I loved this book, even though I see the flaws of logical positivism everywhere. %PDF-1.3 %���� You will never look at the world the same way ever again after reading it. and their descendants and relations in the Analytic tradition, and I found them generally much better than this book. In 1910, Sir Alfred Jules Ayer was born in London into a wealthy family. CHAPTER 6 CRITIQUE OF ETHICS AND THEOLOGY. 18/19. 0000012099 00000 n Logical positivism has taken a series of blows in the intervening time, including Gödel's Theorem and the uncertainty unleashed by modern physics, and more recently by our increased understanding of neuroscience. 0000018269 00000 n or even the existence, of anything super empirical can legitimately be inferred. He takes up many of the same topics of Wittgenstein on language, although Ayer is much more comprehensible and much, much more boring. It is, however, written in an aggressive style (by academic standards) and I can see how those with a preference for the philosophers which he discredits have attempted to give logical positivism such a bad name in the years after.

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