Philosophy and Language

  • A. J. Ayer


Oxford philosophy has changed very much in the course of the present century. In so far as it has changed for the better, a large proportion of the credit must go to my predecessor in this Chair, Professor H. H. Price. Certainly the philosophers of my generation are very greatly in his debt. It is now nearly thirty years since I listened, as an undergraduate, to his lectures on Perception. Professor Price was, and is, an extremely good lecturer, but more than the form, it was the matter of those lectures that excited us. In the sombre philosophical climate of the Oxford of that time, here was a bold attempt to let in air and light: a theory of perception in which the principles of British empiricism were developed with a rigour and attention to detail which they had in that context never yet received. The book which grew out of the lectures remains a classic in its field. It is true that there has been a reaction against its doctrines. The theory took sense-data very seriously, and the prestige of sense-data is no longer what it was: Professor Price himself has wavered in his loyalty to them.


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Copyright information

© A. J. Ayer 1963

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. J. Ayer
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of OxfordUK
  2. 2.OxfordUK

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