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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index A > Alfred Jules (A.J.) Ayer Quotes

Alfred Jules (A.J.) Ayer
(29 Oct 1910 - 27 Jun 1989)

English philosopher who advocated logical positivism. In his book, Language, Truth, and Logic (1936), he reduced philosophy to empirical logic.

Science Quotes by Alfred Jules (A.J.) Ayer (3 quotes)

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.
— Alfred Jules (A.J.) Ayer
Language, Truth and Logic (1960), 49.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Certain (550)  |  Empirical (54)  |  Experience (470)  |  Future (432)  |  Generalization (57)  |  Good (889)  |  Induction (77)  |  Logic (287)  |  Natural (796)  |  Natural Science (128)  |  Past (337)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Problem (679)  |  Prove (252)  |  Regard (304)  |  Science (3880)  |  Speaking (119)  |  Superstition (66)  |  Time (1877)  |  Way (1216)  |  Will (2354)

The principles of logic and mathematics are true universally simply because we never allow them to be anything else. And the reason for this is that we cannot abandon them without contradicting ourselves, without sinning against the rules which govern the use of language, and so making our utterances self-stultifying. In other words, the truths of logic and mathematics are analytic propositions or tautologies.
— Alfred Jules (A.J.) Ayer
Language, Truth and Logic (1960), 77.
Science quotes on:  |  Abandon (68)  |  Against (332)  |  Govern (65)  |  Language (293)  |  Logic (287)  |  Making (300)  |  Mathematics (1333)  |  Never (1087)  |  Other (2236)  |  Ourselves (245)  |  Principle (510)  |  Proposition (123)  |  Reason (744)  |  Rule (295)  |  Self (267)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Use (766)  |  Utterance (10)  |  Word (622)

The traditional disputes of philosophers are, for the most part, as unwarranted as they are unfruitful. The surest way to end them is to establish beyond question what should be the purpose and method of a philosophical enquiry. And this is by no means so difficult a task as the history of philosophy would lead one to suppose. For if there are any questions which science leaves it to philosophy to answer, a straightforward process of elimination must lead to their discovery.
— Alfred Jules (A.J.) Ayer
Language, Truth and Logic (1960), 33.
Science quotes on:  |  Answer (366)  |  Beyond (308)  |  Difficult (247)  |  Discovery (785)  |  Dispute (32)  |  Elimination (25)  |  End (590)  |  Enquiry (87)  |  History (675)  |  Lead (385)  |  Logic (287)  |  Mean (809)  |  Means (580)  |  Method (506)  |  Most (1729)  |  Must (1526)  |  Philosopher (259)  |  Philosophy (382)  |  Process (423)  |  Purpose (317)  |  Question (622)  |  Science (3880)  |  Straightforward (10)  |  Suppose (156)  |  Task (147)  |  Truth (1062)  |  Way (1216)


Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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