more from A.J. Ayer

Single Idea 6523

[catalogued under 7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 1. Ontologies]

Full Idea

Positivists tend to be prejudiced against ontology, regarding very general questions about what sort of things exist either as meaningless, or as questions to be settled by stipulation.


A 'stipulation' is a fairly arbitrary decision

Gist of Idea

Positivists regard ontology as either meaningless or stipulated


report of A.J. Ayer (Language,Truth and Logic [1936]) by Howard Robinson - Perception IX.4

Book Reference

Robinson,Howard: 'Perception' [Routledge 2001], p.227

A Reaction

So much the worse for positivists, because they are missing all the fun. I consider one of the central activities of philosophy to be speculating about explanations. Ontology is at the heart of what explanation aims at.