A.J. Ayer: A Life

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Grove Press, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 402 pages
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A. J. Ayer (1910-1989) was a man of startling complexity: an exceptionally rigorous and penetrating philosopher, he was also a dedicated hedonist and seducer. He traveled in the most glamorous social circles, yet his friends found him oddly remote. Internationally acclaimed author Ben Rogers brings the brilliant, strangely vulnerable author of the classic Language, Truth, and Logic to vivid life, along with the Oxford intellectual world where he met Isaiah Berlin, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and many other great thinkers and writers of the era. Colorful, intimate, and often poignant, this is a powerful biography of a provocative and unforgettable man whose ideas changed the landscape of Western thought. "Beautifully written, sympathetic, and sensitive ... [a] balanced and rounded picture of a very complicated man." -- Simon Blackburn, The New Republic "A readable and well-researched account of the life and career of a remarkable figure." -- Lynwood Abram, Houston Chronicle "A.J. Ayer lived a fascinating life and in Rogers he has found an ideal biographer....." -- Frank McLynn, The New Statesman "Rogers succeeds in capturing the spirit of a philosophical maverick who many loved to hate." -- Kirkus Reviews "Exceptionally good ... A.J. Ayer weaves the philosophical, public, and private strands of Ayer's life together most skillfully." -- The Economist

 

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A.J. AYER: A Life

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A sympathetic treatment of one of the 20th century's best-known British philosophers.When the chips are down it might be as tempting to criticize a philosopher who failed in his bold attempts to ... Read full review

A. J. Ayer: a life

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

For those who picture philosophers as otherworldly creatures with no lives of their own outside of the classroom, this biography will come as a pleasant surprise. Ayer (1910-89) lived an exciting ... Read full review

Contents

Teachers Bankers Merchants Wives
8
Schooldays
22
Apprentice
37
Student
51
Homecoming
62
Marriage among the Scientists
78
Apostle
97
Language Truth and Logic or the Philosophy of Nonsense
107
Professor
206
The London Freddie Ayer
226
All Change
244
Oxford New York Toulon
262
Benthamite Saint
278
Central Questions
298
Retirement
318
Old Age
334

Iconoclast Hedonist
123
Bright Young Things
143
War My New Profession
162
Good Enough if Largely Unauthorised
179
The Meaning of Life
191
Resurrection
347
Principal Publications of AJ Ayer
360
Abbreviations and Notes
361
Index
389
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