[lit-ideas] Ayer, enfant terrible of Oxford philosophy

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 30 May 2012 21:09:08 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 5/30/2012 7:10:42 P.M. UTC-02, donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx 
 writes:
“What is the fundamental difference between Ayer and myself?”; but we  may 
be spared this story. (For now.)

I _think_ my previous email was delivered by mistake. My apology. I meant  
to read McEvoy's post and comment; instead, my machine just sent it.
 
In any case, Grice (if you've heard of him, or even if you haven't) refers  
to Ayer as the *enfant terrible* in italics (underlined in Grice's 
handwritten  notes) of Oxford philosophy in
 
Grice, "Prejudices and predilections, which become the life and opinions of 
 Paul Grice", by Paul Grice.
 
---- Of course, Ayer knew all that needed to be known about the Vienna  
Circle well (he had been sent to Vienna by Ryle), and it's only natural that  
Popper found a way to falsify Ayer.
 
On Ayer's return to Oxford, things had changed, and Ayer was not _really_  
welcome.
 
Grice mentions to early play groups in the history of Oxford philosophy:  
one, pre-war (pre-"phoney"-war) met at All Souls on Thursday evenings. Grice  
never attended ("I had been born on the wrong side of the tracks"), but  
Hampshire, and Ayer, and a few others -- ten in total -- did.
 
Then Ayer got engaged in London, and when he returned to Oxford as a  
Wykehamite, things had changed slightly. Ayer had an occasion to deliver a 
paper  
for the Aristotelian Society entitled,
 
"The causal theory of perception".

Talk about being original! Grice had done the same thing DECADES  earlier!
 
And so on.
 
Cheers,
 
Speranza
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