more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 5202

[catalogued under 6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / a. Early logicism]

Full Idea

The principles of logic and mathematics are true universally simply because we never allow them to be anything else; …in other words, they are analytic propositions, or tautologies.

Gist of Idea

Maths and logic are true universally because they are analytic or tautological


A.J. Ayer (Language,Truth and Logic [1936], Ch.4)

Book Reference

Ayer,A.J.: 'Language, Truth and Logic' [Penguin 1974], p.103

A Reaction

This is obviously a very appealing idea, but it doesn's explain WHY we have invented these particular tautologies (which seem surprisingly useful). The 'science of patterns' can be empirical and a priori and useful (but not tautological).