Sir Alfred Jules Ayer Quotes

The ground for taking ignorance to be restrictive of freedom is that it causes people to make choices which they would not have made if they had seen what the realization of their choices involved.

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

While moral rules may be propounded by authority the fact that these were so propounded would not validate them.

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

If now Isay "Stealing money is wrong," I produce a sentence which has no factual meaning that is, expresses no proposition which can be either true or false. It is as if I had written "Stealing money!!" where the shape and thickness of the exclamation marks show, by a suitable convention, that a special sort of moral disapproval is the feeling which is being expressed.

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

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.

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

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.

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

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.

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

It seems that I have spent my entire time trying to make life more rational and that it was all wasted effort.

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

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.

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

No moral system can rest solely on authority.

Sir Alfred Jules Ayer

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