Biography of A.J. Ayer

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Born in 1910 A.J. Ayer made his name in philosophy with the publication of ‘Language, Truth and Logic’ in 1936 advancing his belief in logical positivism. Ayer expounded his belief that philosophy is an activity of analysis, and that metaphysical truths can be neither established nor refuted and are meaningless.

A testimony to Freddie Ayer’s brilliant mind was the speed with which he produced such an important work at such a young age. According to Ayer:

“I began writing ‘Language, Truth and Logic’ in the Christmas vacation of 1933-4 and finished writing it in July 1935, three and a half months before my twenty-fifth birthday.”

He was constantly revising his ideas and in a television interview in 1979, A. J. Ayer was asked what were the main defects of the book, he replied:

“I suppose the most important of the defects was that nearly early of it was false.”

According to ‘Nigel Dempster’s Address Book’: “After revealing that he had ‘died’ for four minutes during an operation, Ayer remarried Dee [Wells] in April 1989 just two months before his death.

In his book, ‘A.J.Ayer A Life’, Ben Rogers describes how Freddie Ayer came to the rescue of model, Naomi Campbell: In 1987, while Ayer was visiting the Manhattan home of lingerie magnate Fernando Sanchez he heard a woman hollering that the boxer Mike Tyson was in the process of assaulting a woman in an adjoining room. At age seventy-seven, the buoyant Ayer sprang into action and discovered the figher attacking the model Naomi Campbell. Ayer ordered him to stop.

“Do you know who the fuck, I am?” Tyson yelled. “I’m the heavyweight champion of the world.”

“And I’m the former Wykeham Professor of Logic,” Ayer replied.”We are both pre-eminent in our fields, I suggest we talk about this like rational men.”

As their conversation ensued, Campbell escaped.

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