Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

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Ayer, Sir A.J. ( Alfred Jules) (1910–89) English philosopher. Building on the ideas of the Vienna Circle of positivists and of George Berkeley, David Hume, Bertrand Russell, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, he introduced logical positivism into British and US philosophy. His works include Language, Truth and Logic (1936) and Philosophy and Language (1960).

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Sir Alfred Jules Ayer (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 positivism 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.

See biography by B. Rogers (2000).