Ayer, Alfred Jules

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ayer, Alfred Jules


Born Oct. 29, 1910. English philosopher, a representative of analytical philosophy, professor of logic at London (from 1946) and Oxford (from 1959) universities; member of the British Academy of Sciences and the International Philosophical Academy. He became known upon the publication of his book Language, Truth, and Logic (1936), in which he propagandized the ideas of the Vienna circle. He differed with them, however, in his treatment of the logical formalization of language: Ayer does not resort to the analysis of scientific concepts by means of mathematical logic. This tendency, typical of English analytical philosophy with its inclination toward linguistic analysis, is even stronger in Ayer’s later works, in which problems connected with the theory of knowledge and the role of language in the process of knowledge are investigated. Ayer opposes Marxist philosophy on the general positivist thesis of the impossibility of scientific justification of philosophical constructs (see the polemics of A. J. Ayer and I. V. Kuznetsov in the journal Voprosy filosofii, 1962, no. 1).


Language, Truth and Logic. London, 1936.
The Foundations of Empirical Knowledge. London, 1940.
Thinking and Meaning. London, 1947.
Philosophical Essays. London-New York, 1954.
The Problem of Knowledge. London-New York, 1956.
The Concept of a Person and Other Essays. New York, 1963.


Bogomolov, A. S. Anglo-amerikanskaia burzhuaznaia filosofiia epokhi imperializma. Moscow, 1964.
Hill,T. I. Sovremennye teorii poznaniia.Moscow, 1965. Pages 372–82. (Translated from English.)


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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