Frases de Alfred Jules Ayer

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Alfred Jules Ayer

Fecha de nacimiento: 29. Octubre 1910
Fecha de muerte: 27. Junio 1989

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Alfred Jules Ayer fue un pedagogo y filósofo británico, promotor del positivismo lógico y divulgador en Inglaterra de la obra y de la filosofía del Círculo de Viena. Su obra principal fue Lenguaje, verdad y lógica, editada en 1936, y en ella defendió las tesis capitales del positivismo o empirismo lógicos, en particular la doctrina estricta de la verificación, la separación completa entre enunciados lógicos y enunciados empíricos, la imposibilidad de la metafísica por constituir un conjunto de pseudoproposiciones, es decir, de enunciados que no pueden ser ni verificados empíricamente ni incluidos dentro del cálculo lógico y, finalmente, la necesidad de reducir la filosofía al análisis. En la segunda edición de la mencionada obra, Ayer sometió algunas de las citadas tesis a revisión. En particular sucedió esto con el Principio de verificación, que admitió no solamente en un sentido «fuerte», sino también, y sobre todo, en un sentido «débil», proporcionando, por consiguiente, un criterio más «liberal» del mismo. Sometió asimismo a revisión su tesis de lo a priori como puramente analítico tautológico. Finalmente, insistió en los problemas que plantea el conocimiento empírico. Estos últimos problemas le condujeron en su obra sobre las bases del conocimiento empírico a un examen a fondo de los datos de los sentidos , con la conclusión de que no se trata de estados mentales, pero tampoco de modificaciones de ninguna substancia, física o biológica.

En su lección inaugural en Oxford sobre «filosofía y lenguaje», Ayer considera que la filosofía oxoniense del «lenguaje corriente» no es, ni es deseable que sea, una pura «filosofía lingüística», sino un análisis del lenguaje en tanto que describe hechos. De no ser tal, la filosofía lingüística se convertiría en un fin en sí misma o. mejor, en un medio que pretendería pasar por fin. Pues la filosofía se debe interesar en las «fotografías» y no sólo en «el mecanismo de la cámara fotográfica». Por otro lado, la filosofía no debe ni tratar sólo de hechos, ni sólo de teorías, sino de los «rasgos arquitectónicos de nuestro sistema conceptual» en tanto que este sistema pretende describir o explicar hechos. Lo cual marca, como Ayer reconoce, un cierto «retorno a Kant», bien que a un Kant sin ninguna “antropología a priori”

Entre otras de sus obras se encuentran "Pensamiento y significación" , "Los fundamentos del conocimiento empírico" , "El problema del conocimiento" , "Filosofía y lenguaje" , "Hume" , "La filosofía del Siglo XX" .

Frases Alfred Jules Ayer

„The principles of logic and mathematics are true simply because we never allow them to be anything else.“

— Alfred Jules Ayer
Context: 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. p. 77.

„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 Ayer
Context: 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. p. 49.

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„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 Ayer
Context: 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. p. 20.

„I am using the word "perceive". I am using it here in such a way that to say of an object that it is perceived does not entail saying that it exists in any sense at all. And this is a perfectly correct and familiar usage of the word.“

— Alfred Jules Ayer
Context: I am using the word "perceive". I am using it here in such a way that to say of an object that it is perceived does not entail saying that it exists in any sense at all. And this is a perfectly correct and familiar usage of the word. If there is thought to be a difficulty here, it is perhaps because there is also a correct and familiar usage of the word "perceive", in which to say of an object that it is perceived does carry the implication that it exists. The Foundations of Empirical Knowledge (1940). <!-- also quoted in Sense and Sensibilia (1962), edited by J. L. Austin, p. 85 Oxford University Press -->

„The criterion which we use to test the genuineness of apparent statements of fact is the criterion of verifiability.“

— Alfred Jules Ayer
Context: The criterion which we use to test the genuineness of apparent statements of fact is the criterion of verifiability. We say that a sentence is factually significant to any given person, if, and only if, he knows how to verify the proposition which it purports to express — that is, if he knows what observations would lead him, under certain conditions, to accept the proposition as being true, or reject it as being false. p. 16.

„The traditional disputes of philosophers are, for the most part, as unwarranted as they are unfruitful.“

— Alfred Jules Ayer
Context: 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. Ch. 1, first lines.

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„There is philosophy, which is about conceptual analysis — about the meaning of what we say — and there is all of this … all of life.“

— Alfred Jules Ayer
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.

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„I saw a Divine Being. I'm afraid I'm going to have to revise all my various books and opinions.“

— Alfred Jules Ayer
A statement he made soon after recovering from his near-death experience, as reported by Dr. Jeremy George, in [http://gonsalves.org/favorite/atheist.htm "Did atheist philosopher see God when he 'died'?" by William Cash, in National Post (3 March 2001)].

„No moral system can rest solely on authority.“

— Alfred Jules Ayer
Humanist Outlook (1968), p. 4. <!-- London: Pemberton; Barrie & Rockliff -->

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