A.J. Ayer, who played a major role in introducing logical positivism to England, explains the movement, its purpose, and its effect on current philosophical trends. Ayer also discusses its founders- members of the Vienna Circle of the 1920s- who based their theories on logic and science.
This is a representative collection of the work of A.J. Ayer, one of the most influential contemporary philosophers. It includes his Whidden lectures on freedom and morality, which were presented at McMaster University in 1983, a previously unpublished essay on J.L. Mackie's Theory of Causal Priority, and seven other essays which cover such topics as: references and identity, the causal theory of perception, the prisoner's paradox, self-evidence and certainty, and the history of the Vienna Circle.
This book was originally conceived as a sequel to bertrand russell's "a history of western philosophy". it takes up where russell left off. rather than examining a wide number of philosophers superficially, this book deals with a small number of philosophers in depth. the book examines american pragmatists, the analytic movement, phenomenology and existentialism. it examines both critical and speculative philosophy. (staff).
Hume is one of the greatest of all British philosophers, and even in his own lifetime was celebrated as one of the pivotal figures of the Enlightenment. A central theme of his philosophy is the conviction that questions traditionally thought of as completely independent of the scientific realm--questions about the mind, about morality, and about God, for example--are actually best explained using the experimental methods characteristic of the natural sciences. Hume's 'naturalist' approach to a wide variety of philosophical topics resulted (...) in highly original theories about perception, self-identity, causation, morality, politics, and religion, all of which are discussed in this stimulating introduction by A J Ayer, himself one of the twentieth century's most important philosophers. Ayer also gives an account of Hume's fascinating life and character, and includes generous quotations from Hume's lucid and often witty writings. (shrink)
On making philosophy intelligible.--What is communication?--Meaning and intentionality.--What must there be?--Metaphysics and common sense.--Philosophy and science.--Chance.--Knowledge, belief, and evidence.--Has Austin refuted the sense-datum theory?--Professor Malcolm on dreams.--An appraisal of Bertrand Russell's philosophy.--G. E. Moore on propositions and facts.--Reflections on existentialism.--Man as a subject for science.--Philosophy and politics.