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A. J. Ayer

Alfred Jules Ayer.jpg
Alfred Jules Ayer

(1910-10-29)29 October 1910
Died 27 June 1989(1989-06-27) (aged 78)
London, England
Alma mater Christ Church, Oxford
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Western philosophy
Academic advisors Gilbert Ryle
Main interests
Notable ideas
  • Verification principle
  • emotivist ethics

Sir Alfred Jules "Freddie" Ayer FBA ( 29 October 1910 – 27 June 1989), usually cited as A. J. Ayer, was an English philosopher known for his promotion of logical positivism, particularly in his books Language, Truth, and Logic (1936) and The Problem of Knowledge (1956).

He was educated at Eton College and the University of Oxford, after which he studied the philosophy of logical positivism at the University of Vienna. From 1933 to 1940 he lectured on philosophy at Christ Church, Oxford.

During the Second World War Ayer was a Special Operations Executive and MI6 agent.

He was Grote Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Logic at University College London from 1946 until 1959, after which he returned to Oxford to become Wykeham Professor of Logic at New College. He was president of the Aristotelian Society from 1951 to 1952 and knighted in 1970. He was known for his advocacy of humanism, and was the second President of the British Humanist Association (now known as Humanists UK).

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