By Aloysius Martinich
This titanic anthology includes the main complete and authoritative choice of readings in analytic philosophy of the 20th century. It presents a survey and research of the main concerns, figures and ideas.
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Extra resources for Analytic Philosophy: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies)
1976 , Dialectic of Enlightenment. London: Continuum. St Thomas Aquinas 1225-1274 Jon Phelan St Thomas Aquinas was born into a noble family near the small town of Aquino which lies between Naples and Rome. He became a Dominican friar in 1244 and was a heavyweight scholar in both senses of the word. Weighing around twenty stone it is rumoured that this doctor of the church worked at a desk specially designed to fit around his corpulence. Despite a peripatetic life of preaching and teaching, Aquinas penned over two million words of in-depth theology, his best known works being the Summa contra Gentiles (1258-60) and the Summa Theologiae (1267-73).
Ayer 33 unable to perceive anything through his senses, would he be able to affirm the existence of his soul? Suspended in such a state, he cannot affirm the existence of his body because he is not empirically aware of it, thus the argument may be seen as affirming the independence of the soul from the body. But in that state he cannot doubt that his soul exists because there is a subject that is thinking, thus the argument can be seen as an affirmation of the self-awareness of the soul. This argument does raise an objection, which may also be levelled at Descartes: how do we know that the knowing subject is the soul?
To judge whether this was a fair description we need to examine his main contributions to the subject. Ayer was passionate about philosophy. His tour de force Language, Truth and Logic (1936), written when he was only twenty-four on the advice of confidant Isaiah Berlin, was a work of missionary zeal. It sought to rid philosophy of the metaphysical waffle that Ayer believed had 34 A. J. Ayer plagued the subject since Plato. Ayer wished to give philosophy the same epistemic status and certainty as science, which he believed was the greatest achievement of the human intellect.
Analytic Philosophy: An Anthology (Blackwell Philosophy Anthologies) by Aloysius Martinich