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Customer Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Educative, 12 Jan. 2014
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This review is from: Language, Truth and Logic (Dover Books on Western Philosophy) (Paperback)
I will not add much to the other very positive reviews. The one negative review is I think unfair. Ayer developed his views expressed in the book while in Vienna in the 1936. It is written with the enthusiasm of a young man and is a great read. Basically his view is that statements are only meaningful if they are based on logical argument (which gives one mathematics) or they have some empirical input (which gives one all the physical sciences). Otherwise they are meaningless. Goodbye theology. I think this is generally correct in that we can all think of theological debates that have continued for centuries without resolution and which have no means of resolution. Such an activity is pointless (and in my view, highly immoral). My criticism would be that we use the words "know" and "knowledge " in another sense. "I know how to read" (or write etc). This is quite a correct use of "know". It defines a skill and we do describe skills as knowledge but they cannot be achived by logical thought or experiment. They are acquired by lots of practice and can only be taught to other people if they are prepared to make the same effort (e.g.playing the piano!). Hence I feel that the definition of knowledge needs extending to cover skills. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and discussing it with various colleagues who also study philosophy with me.
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