A very brief appraisal of Ayer's language, truth and logic


I think that one of the main objections to be made to Ayer's verifiability criterion is simply the mechanical way in which it is designed to work: supposedly, a philosopher need not study, for example, how religious assertions are used, nor what sorts of illumination their users take themselves to be shedding on the human condition; instead, Ayer imagines that we can test them in a simple way that requires us to do no exploration whatever. This, surely, is hubris; and that accounts for much of the very angry and passionate reaction which Ayer's criterion provoked.



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