ayer language truth and logic chapter 6 pdf Thursday, May 6, 2021 3:51:44 PM

Ayer Language Truth And Logic Chapter 6 Pdf

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In this essay I discuss the evolution of A.

It seems that you're in Germany. We have a dedicated site for Germany. This edited collection provides the first comprehensive volume on A. Making use of pioneering research in logical empiricism, the contributors explore a wide variety of topics, from ethics, values and religion, to truth, epistemology and philosophy of language. Among the questions discussed are: How did Ayer preserve or distort the views and conceptions of logical empiricists?

The Historical and Philosophical Significance of Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic

Hume was a central figure in Ayer's formation. He claimed that the version of logical positivism he defended in Language, Truth, and Logic and elsewhere descended directly from Hume. This had a profound influence on the interpretation of Hume's philosophy for decades and has not completely disappeared even today. This chapter draws attention to some fundamental aspects of Hume's views — not least the idea of an empirical study of the fundamental principles of human nature as an appropriate goal for philosophy — that that widely shared interpretation either ignores or distorts.

There is also the question of the proper goal for philosophy as Ayer sees it quite independently of the interpretation of Hume. He certainly was not sound theologically. On that score, and most others, Hume is more reliable—and truly simpatico. Many of the specific doctrines of Language, Truth and Logic have been abandoned or revised beyond recognition over the years, but Ayer's general philosophical outlook has scarcely changed since then.

There remains at its centre his endorsement of what he sees as the achievement of Hume. I think that is because Russell's verdict was right. It is impossible to go further in the direction he had in mind.

But what direction is that? And was it Hume's direction? Ayer thinks it was. He has remained committed to a certain conception of what the only or at p.

And that conception, combined with his admiration for Hume, is what I think leads him to his understanding of the aims of Hume's philosophy. But that seems to me to ignore or at least to distort what is most important and still most fruitful in that philosophy.

Ayer also shares many specific doctrines with Hume. But I think those views, given Ayer's conception of the philosophical enterprise, are the real source of the dead end which Russell encountered and, if I am right, Ayer still faces.

I therefore would like to take up Ayer's understanding of Hume, his conception of philosophy, and the relation between the two. It is not easy to say what Ayer thinks Hume was up to as a philosopher. Or rather, it is not easy to say what he thinks Hume was up to; he seems to have no doubt what it had to be if it can be called philosophy.

He invokes Hume's views often in his philosophical writings, but always in the treatment of some specific issue or as the source of this or that particular problem. Even the brief general introduction to Hume in the Past Masters book gives no satisfyingly comprehensive description of what Hume himself was trying to do or saw himself as doing.

Ayer duly reminds us that seventeenth- and early eighteenth-century writers did not distinguish philosophy from the sciences as we do today. And he thinks that it was only to a very limited extent and then chiefly in writing about morality that he p. In this he is apparently not unique. Ayer sees him as to that extent confused, often expressing his views or his problems in misleading psychological terms, and sometimes even pursuing questions of what we would nowadays call psychology.

But apparently he was not completely confused. There is the famous concluding passage of An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding which Ayer quotes often as a statement of Hume's own understanding of his enterprise.

When we run over our libraries, persuaded of these principles, what havoc must we make? If we take in our hand any volume; of divinity or school metaphysics, for instance; let us ask, Does it contain any abstract reasoning concerning quantity or number?

Does it contain any experimental reasoning concerning matter of fact and existence? Commit it then to the flames: for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion. Is it really making a claim about the nature of philosophy at all?

It is also something that comes to be known or even believed only on the basis of experience. That is what Ayer's verifiability criterion of meaningfulness says. That is what he says he is doing. And on Hume's view that is true of any book on any subject.

Second, he suggests, but without documentation, that there is no such reasoning in books of those kinds. But that is the complaint that those books lack certain kinds of reasoning, or that they lack reasoning altogether, not necessarily that they do not contain any sentences of certain legitimate kinds. Again, if Hume thinks their sentences are indeed meaningless, it does not follow that he thinks the proper task for philosophy is analysis.

That does seem to be what Hume has in mind. The passage occurs at the end of the last section of the Enquiry where Hume is listing the advantages to mankind of the various forms of mitigated scepticism he has been recommending.

Ayer's third reading of the oft-quoted passage therefore seems to me closest to the truth. But it implies nothing about philosophy as exclusively, or even partly, analysis of concepts. Hume does not think his own Treatise and Enquiries are to be committed to the flames.

He thinks they contain lots of good reasoning. The problem of finding a place for a special subject called philosophy on a complete map of human knowledge or enquiry was especially pressing to the logical positivists, in whose name Ayer was writing in p.

It could be said indeed that the nature and possibility of philosophical knowledge was one of the major concerns of that movement. It certainly dominates Language, Truth and Logic ; four—and indirectly a fifth—of its eight chapters are fully occupied with the nature of philosophy or with the special character of philosophical issues or disputes. The problem was how philosophy as a serious intellectual enterprise was possible. For Kant philosophical knowledge was synthetic and a priori.

Its results were known independently of experience, they were genuinely ampliative—extending beyond the contents of their constituent concepts—and we could be assured that they could not be otherwise. For Wittgenstein in the Tractatus there could be no philosophical propositions and so no genuine philosophical knowledge or statable philosophical results.

Philosophy was not a body of doctrine but an activity; its aim was the logical clarification of thoughts. Any necessity apparently possessed by certain sentences was due entirely to their empty, tautological character; they say nothing about the world. The positivist account of philosophy was a combination of these views, remaining on the whole much closer to Kant than to Wittgenstein while rejecting the central idea of the Critique of Pure Reason.

All genuine knowledge of the world is part of empirical science, and so not philosophy. All mathematics and logic—in fact, everything knowable a priori—is analytic, true solely by virtue of the meanings of its constituent terms.

There is no synthetic a priori knowledge. Any philosophical knowledge will therefore be independent of experience, it can be knowledge of what could not be otherwise, but it will be only analytic.

It can reveal nothing about the way the world is, but only about the concepts in terms of which we understand and come to know things about the world. Ayer sees this conception of philosophy as the unavoidable result of a straightforward process of elimination. Kant thought philosophy could not be empirical because its results were known to be necessarily true; and p.

Even combined with the thesis that all necessity is due to meaning it implies only that all a priori knowledge is only of analytic truths.

It does not even imply that the philosopher must be restricted to one side or the other. With respect to many of the particular philosophical doctrines which were thought to support this conception of philosophy as analysis Hume was of course much closer to Ayer and the positivists than he was to Kant.

He held that of all those thoughts we can form that are capable of truth or falsity, some are necessarily true in the sense that their negations are contradictory, but they are true solely in virtue of the relations among their component ideas.

We can accordingly know such things to be true by the operation of pure thought alone, by reflection on our ideas. Only actual sense-experience could do that. All beliefs in matters of fact are founded on experience. But this set of largely epistemological views is consistent with a number of different conceptions of philosophy, or with holding no very determinate conception of it as a special discipline at all.

The problem for the positivists was largely a problem inherited from Kant, or more precisely from their otherwise accepting the Kantian framework while rejecting the synthetic a priori. The terms in which it had to be solved were Kantian terms. But Hume was a pre-Kantian philosopher.

Ayer shares a number of other specific theses or doctrines or problems with Hume, but here again I think we cannot assume on that p. And when we look at what Hume actually does, I think we find that he was not in fact pursuing that goal. Insofar as he could even formulate it or understand it, he thought it was impossible—and precisely because of his attachment to a number of views which Ayer also holds.

Some of the most important of those shared views could be expressed somewhat loosely as follows. We never directly perceive physical objects or states of affairs in the public world, but only fleeting and momentary impressions or sense-data which we cannot be wrong about at the time they are present to our minds. Each of us has thoughts of or beliefs about a great many things other than our current impressions or sense-data—past or future impressions, for example, or enduring physical objects and their properties, causal connections between objects or events, laws of nature, the thoughts and feelings of other people, our own past and future selves, the goodness or badness of people's characters and actions, the existence of a supernatural God, and so on.

Any such thoughts we can form, any beliefs we might arrive at about anything, must be constructed by mental operations working only on materials derived from our immediate sense-experience. No impression or sense-datum ever provides us with an instance of the identity of a physical or a mental thing including ourselves over time, or of the causal connection we believe to hold between two things when we believe that one is the cause of the other.

No impression or sense-datum provides us with an instance of the thoughts or feelings of other people, or of what we ascribe to an action or character when we believe it to be good or bad, virtuous or vicious. What we experience at one moment can give us reason to believe some other matter of fact which we are not experiencing at that moment only if we have reason to believe that it is connected in some way with that absent matter of fact.

But the connection in question could not be necessary and so discoverable by the operation of pure thought alone, since for any two distinct matters of fact, there is no contradiction involved in supposing that one of them holds and the other does not.

Whether there is a connection between what we experience and what we believe on the basis of it must therefore be a further matter of fact, so any reason we might have for believing in such a connection must also be found in our experience.

I make no claim of completeness or of any order of logical priority among them. But even in this summary form I think it would be granted that they capture a great deal that is important and central to each philosopher. Ayer combines them with the view that the task of philosophy is analysis. For him that implies that its results are not empirical or contingent. Philosophy is not empirical science.

These are the words of someone who wants to understand in each case certain very general facts of human nature—how and why human beings come to think or feel or judge in the ways they do. And he wants to answer such questions in the only way he thinks they can be answered, by relying on what can be found out by observing human beings and the world they live in. As this is a question of fact, not of abstract science, we can only expect success, by following the experimental method, and deducing general maxims from a comparison of particular instances.

The facts in question, and the principles introduced to explain them, although extremely general, are still to be understood as contingent. Things could have been otherwise. Ayer is obliged to find Hume's way of putting his project unfortunate—a product of confusion or naivete.

Ayer's Hume

Mondays ; CAB Email: Jeff. Pelletier ualberta. This page will be the place where I post links to readings, assignments, due dates, and general announcements, so you should monitor this for class information. Most of my downloadable documents are pdf, so you need a pdf reader to read them. A reader is free and can be downloaded from here. A syllabus for this course is here.

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Email: Jeff. Pelletier ualberta. This page will be the place where I post links to readings, assignments, due dates, and general announcements, so you should monitor this for class information. Most of my downloadable documents are pdf, so you need a pdf reader to read them. A reader is free and can be downloaded from here. A syllabus for this course is here. Some ramblings about things to read and a possible order in which to do the reading is here.


4. Page 6. CHAPTER 1. THE ELIMINATION OF METAPHYSICS. 5. Surely from empirical premises nothing whatsoever concerning the proper- ties. or even the.


The Evolution of Ayer’s Views on the Mind-Body Relation

Hume was a central figure in Ayer's formation. He claimed that the version of logical positivism he defended in Language, Truth, and Logic and elsewhere descended directly from Hume. This had a profound influence on the interpretation of Hume's philosophy for decades and has not completely disappeared even today. This chapter draws attention to some fundamental aspects of Hume's views — not least the idea of an empirical study of the fundamental principles of human nature as an appropriate goal for philosophy — that that widely shared interpretation either ignores or distorts.

There is still one objection to be met before we can claim to have justified our view that all synthetic pro- positions are empirical hypotheses. This objection is based on the common supposition that our speculative know- ledge is of two distinct kinds — that which relates to ques- tions of empirical fact, and that which relates to questions of value. What is said about them will be found to apply, mutatis mutandis, to the case of aesthetic state- ments also. The ordinary system of ethics, as elaborated in the works of ethical philosophers, is very far from being a homogeneous whole.

 Хорошо, хорошо.  - Мидж вздохнула.

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