There is philosophy, which is about conceptual analysis — about the meaning of what we say — and there is all of this ... all of life.
Emphasizing his views on philosophy as something abstract and separate from normal life to Isaiah Berlin, in the early 1930s, as quoted in A.J. Ayer: A Life (1999) by Ben Rogers, p. 2
I see philosophy as a fairly abstract activity, as concerned mainly with the analysis of criticism and concepts, and of course most usefully of scientific concepts.Alfred Jules AyerAs quoted in Profile of Sir Alfred Ayer (June 1971) by Euro-Television, quoted in A.J. Ayer: A Life (1999), p. 2
It seems that I have spent my entire time trying to make life more rational and that it was all wasted effort.Alfred Jules AyerAs quoted in The Observer (17 August 1986)
I saw a Divine Being. I'm afraid I'm going to have to revise all my various books and opinions.Alfred Jules AyerA statement he made soon after recovering from his near-death experience, as reported by Dr. Jeremy George, in "Did atheist philosopher see God when he 'died'?" by William Cash, in National Post (3 March 2001)
I suddenly stopped and looked out at the sea and thought, my God, how beautiful this is ... for 26 years I had never really looked at it before.Alfred Jules AyerOn his greater appreciation of the scenery of the world, after his near-death experience, as quoted in "Did atheist philosopher see God when he 'died'?" by William Cash, in National Post (3 March 2001)
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.Alfred Jules Ayerp. 20 (Language, Truth, and Logic (1936))
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. There are only two ways of approaching this problem on the assumption that it is a genuine problem, and it is easy to see that neither of them can lead to its solution.Alfred Jules Ayerp. 49 (Language, Truth, and Logic (1936))
The principles of logic and mathematics are true 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 Ayerp. 77 (Language, Truth, and Logic (1936))
Freddie became so much nicer after he died. He was not nearly so boastful. He took an interest in other people.Alfred Jules AyerDee Wells, his widow, on his changed dispositions after his near-death experience in June 1988, as quoted in "Did atheist philosopher see God when he 'died'?" by William Cash, in National Post (3 March 2001)
Create and save customized word lists. Sign up today and start improving your vocabulary!