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Philosophy of Alfred Julius Ayer Essay

  • Submitted by: Ochola
  • on September 1, 2013
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 1,155 words

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Below is an essay on "Philosophy of Alfred Julius Ayer" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Ayer is convinced that all knowledge of the world derives from sense experience and that nothing in experience justifies a belief in God or in any other extravagant metaphysical entity. The obvious fact in his work is that no statement which refers to a reality trancending the limits of all possible sense experience can possibly have any literal significance is a disparagement of Metaphysics.
It seems that Ayer’s criticism of Metaphysics could have a risen from the essential misrepresentation of the concept of Metaphysics by Pyrrhonian scepticism. As a matter of fact, Aristotle used the name “First Philosophy” but in the course of arranging Aristotle works, Andronicus Rhodes used the name Metaphysics to indicate that these works come after the chapters in Physics. It was at this point that the concept of Metaphysics was disfigured and even criticised especially by empiricism. This is because Metaphysics was misinterpreted as only related with mysticism, obscurity, transcendental and spiritual. David Hume and Immanual Kant followed with such misconstrued concept of Metaphysics.
It is an imperative to state that Ayer has a mission of evicting or eliminating Metaphysics from philosophy by demonstarting that Metaphysics is meaningless. Ayer began his criticism of the metaphysical thesis that it affords us knowledge of a reality transcending the world of science and common sense. He continued to argue that the metaphysicians began their enquiries with the evidence of his senses. And if so, what valid process of reasoning can possibly lead him to the conception of a transcental reality. It is on this that it is established that from empirical premises nothing whatsoever concerning the properties, or even the existence of anything super-empirical can legitimately be inferred. For Ayer, we need only to formulate the criterion which enable us to test whether a sentence expresses a genuine propositions about a matter of fact, and then point out that the sentences under...

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