Andrew Anthony at The Guardian:
In the late 1930s, British philosophy, at least at Oxford, was dominated by AJ Ayer, whose groundbreaking book Language, Truth and Logic was published in 1936. Ayer was the chief promoter of logical positivism, a school of thought that aimed to clean up philosophy by ruling out large areas of the field as unverifiable and therefore not fit for logical discussion.
In a sense, it sought to rid philosophy of metaphysics, those abstract questions of being and knowing that students have traditionally liked to explore late at night after one too many stimulants. It also rendered much of moral philosophy as little more than an expression of emotional preferences.
Anscombe, Murdoch, Midgley and Foot were not fans of logical positivism dogmatism or conclusions.