Ayer, Sir Alfred Jules

Ayer, Sir Alfred Jules

(ā`ər, âr), 1910–89, British philosopher, b. London, grad. Oxford, 1932. From 1933 to 1944 he was lecturer and research fellow at Oxford's Christ Church College and then was fellow (1944–45) and dean (1945–46) of Wadham College. From 1946 to 1959 Ayer was Grote professor of the philosophy of mind and logic at the Univ. of London, and in 1959 he became Wykeham professor of logic at Oxford. His extremely influential Language, Truth, and Logic (1936) brought logical positivismlogical positivism,
also known as logical or scientific empiricism, modern school of philosophy that attempted to introduce the methodology and precision of mathematics and the natural sciences into the field of philosophy. The movement, which began in the early 20th cent.
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 to the attention of British and American philosophers. Among his other works are The Foundations of Empirical Knowledge (1940), Philosophical Essays (1954), The Problem of Knowledge (1956), and The Concept of a Person (1963). He was knighted in 1970.

Bibliography

See biography by B. Rogers (2000).

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