A.j. Ayer Quotes

Sir Alfred Jules "Freddie" Ayer (/??r/; 29 October 1910 – 27 June 1989), usually cited as A. J. Ayer, was a British philosopher known for his promotion of logical positivism, particularly in his books Language, Truth, and Logic (1936) and The Problem of Knowledge (1956)

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A.j. Ayer


The only possible basis for a sound morality is mutual tolerance and respect: tolerance of one anotherâ??s customs and opinions; respect for one anotherâ??s rights and feelings; awareness of one anotherâ??s needs.

A.j. Ayer


Even logical positivists are capable of love.

A.j. Ayer


I saw a Divine Being. I'm afraid I'm going to have to revise all my various books and opinions.

A.j. Ayer


The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved.

A.j. Ayer


The fact that people have religious experiences is interesting from the psychological point of view, but it does not in any way imply that there is such a thing as religious knowledge...Unless he can formulate this 'knowledge' in propositions that are empirically verifiable, we may be sure that he is deceiving himself.

A.j. Ayer


The misfortunes which God is represented in the book of Job as allowing Satan to inflict on Job, merely to test his faith, are indications, if not of positive malevolence, at least of a suspicious and ruthless insecurity, which is characteristic more of a tyrant than of a wholly powerful and benevolent deity.

A.j. Ayer


It is time, therefore, to abandon the superstition that natural science cannot be regarded as logically respectable until philosophers have solved the problem of induction. The problem of induction is, roughly speaking, the problem of finding a way to prove that certain empirical generalizations which are derived from past experience will hold good also in the future.

A.j. Ayer


Why should you mind being wrong if someone can show you that you are?

A.j. Ayer


A prevalent fallacy is the assumption that a proof of an afterlife would also be a proof of the existence of a deity. This is far from being the case. If, as I hold, there is no good reason to believe that a god either created or presides over this world, there is equally no good reason to believe that a god created or presides over the next world, on the unlikely supposition that such a thing exists.

A.j. Ayer


It is possible to be a meta-physician without believing in a transcendent reality; for we shall see that many metaphysical utterances are due to the commission of logical errors, rather than to a conscious desire on the part of their authors to go beyond the limits of experience.

A.j. Ayer


The traditional disputes of philosophers are, for the most part, as unwarranted as they are unfruitful.

A.j. Ayer


While moral rules may be propounded by authority the fact that these were so propounded would not validate them.

A.j. Ayer


To make our position clearer, we may formulate it in another way. Let us call a proposition which records an actual or possible observation an experiential proposition. Then we may say that it is the mark of a genuine factual proposition, not that it should be equivalent to an experiential proposition, or any finite number of experiential propositions, but simply that some experiential propositions can be deduced from it in conjunction with certain other premises without being deducible from those other premises alone.

A.j. Ayer


We shall maintain that no statement which refers to a 'reality'transcending the limits of all possible sense- experience can possibly have any literal significance.

A.j. Ayer


There is philosophy, which is about conceptual analysis - about the meaning of what we say - and there is all of this ... all of life.

A.j. Ayer