<neopositivism, the Vienna Circle, semantics>, <philosophy of language, logic, theology, logical positivism>, English philosopher (1910-1989). After studying with members of the Vienna circle, Ayer published Language, Truth, and Logic (1936), an excellent statement of the central views of logical positivism, including the use of verifiability as a criterion of meaning, the rejection of metaphysics and theology as meaningless, and an emotivist ethical theory. His later works include Foundations of Empirical Knowledge (1940), The Problem of Knowledge (1956), Logical Positivism (1966), and The Central Questions of Philosophy (1972). Recommended Reading: The Philosophy of A. J. Ayer, ed. by Lewis Edwin Hahn (Open Court, 1992); Oswald Hanfling, Ayer (Routledge, 1999); and Ben Rogers, A. J. Ayer: A Life (Grove, 2000).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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