A.J. Ayer, who played a major role in introducing logical positivism to England, explains the movement, its purpose, and its effect on current philosophical trends. Ayer also discusses its founders-- members of the Vienna Circle of the 1920s-- who based their theories on logic and science. 40 min.
About the Series
Series of 15 programmes in which Bryan Magee talks to various philosophers. He opens the dialogues with a talk with Sir Isaiah Berlin on the question of why anyone should take an interest in Philosophy. Berlin talks about the way we all live with assumptions which when questioned philosophically undermine our security. And he indicates that as one possible reason why so many avoid philosophy. On the other hand he says when there is no questioning when all is taken as it is , the mind and imagination dry up. In these lectures Magee does not allow the mind and imagination to dry up. He engages in dialogue with many of the most prominent philosophers of our time beginning with Berlin, and then Charles Taylor, Herbert Marcuse, William Barrett, Anthony Quinton, A.J. Ayer, Bernard Williams, R.M. Hare, W.V. Quine, John Searle, Noam Chomsky, Hilary Putnam, Ronald Dworkin, Iris Murdoch, Ernest Gellner. He tries to be inclusive in these talks and have representatives of all the major schools of philosophy, and representatives of all the major areas.