HOME

TheInfoList




Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of
philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical reality Reality is the sum or aggregate of all that is real or existen ...

philosophy
using
analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complexity, complex topic or Substance theory, substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Ari ...
which is popular in the
Western World The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various s, s and , depending on the context, most often consisting of the majority of , , and .
Western World
and particularly the
Anglosphere The Anglosphere is a group of English-speaking nations that share common cultural and historical ties to the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Us ...
, which began around the turn of the
20th century The 20th (twentieth) century began on January 1, 1901 ( MCMI), and ended on December 31, 2000 ( MM). It was the tenth and final century of the 2nd millennium. The 20th century was dominated by significant events that defined the era: Spanish ...
in the
contemporary era Contemporary history, in English-language historiography, is a subset of modern history that describes the historical period from approximately 1945 to the present. Contemporary history is either a subset of the late modern period, or it is on ...
and continues today. In the
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shorth ...

United Kingdom
,
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It consists of 50 , a , five major , 326 , and some . At , it is the world's . The United States shares significan ...

United States
,
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of . Its extend from the to the and northward into the , covering , making it the world's . Its southern and western , stretching , is the world's longest bi-national land border. Canada's capital ...

Canada
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...

New Zealand
and
Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a in , with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' can refer to , , and , sometimes more narrowly to the , or more broadly to include , th ...

Scandinavia
, the majority of university philosophy departments today identify themselves as "analytic" departments. "Without exception, the best philosophy departments in the United States are dominated by analytic philosophy, and among the leading philosophers in the United States, all but a tiny handful would be classified as analytic philosophers. Practitioners of types of philosophizing that are not in the analytic tradition—such as phenomenology, classical pragmatism, existentialism, or Marxism—feel it necessary to define their position in relation to analytic philosophy."
John Searle John Rogers Searle (; born July 31, 1932) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysic ...

John Searle
(2003), ''Contemporary Philosophy in the United States'' in N. Bunnin and E. P. Tsui-James (eds.), ''The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy'', 2nd ed., (Blackwell, 2003), p. 1.
Central figures in this historical development of analytic philosophy are
Gottlob Frege Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (; ; 8 November 1848 – 26 July 1925) was a German philosopher, logician, and mathematician. He worked as a mathematics professor at the University of Jena, and is understood by many to be the father of analy ...
,
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British , , , , , , , , and .Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy"Bertrand Russell" 1 May 2003 Throughout his life, Russell considered himself a , a and ...
, G. E. Moore, and
Ludwig Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationalit ...

Ludwig Wittgenstein
. Other important figures in its history include the
logical positivists Logical positivism, later called logical empiricism, and both of which together are also known as neopositivism, was a movement in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the Western worl ...
(particularly
Rudolf Carnap Rudolf Carnap (; ; 18 May 1891 – 14 September 1970) was a German-language philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle The Vienna Circle (german: Wiener Krei ...
), W. V. O. Quine,
Saul Kripke Saul Aaron Kripke (; born November 13, 1940) is an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition. He is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and emeritus professor at Pr ...

Saul Kripke
, and
Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British , and . One of the 20th century's most influential , Popper is known for his rejection of the classical views on the in favour of . According to Popper, a ...

Karl Popper
. Analytic philosophy is characterized by an emphasis on
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and public, and ...

language
, known as the
linguistic turn The linguistic turn was a major development in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the Western world. Historically, the term refers to the philosophical thinking of Western culture, ...
, and for its clarity and rigor in arguments, making use of
formal logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things that aim to re ...
and
mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no general consensus abo ...
, and, to a lesser degree, the
natural sciences Natural science is a Branches of science, branch of science concerned with the description, understanding and prediction of Phenomenon, natural phenomena, based on empirical evidence from observation and experimentation. Mechanisms such as peer ...
.
Brian Leiter Brian Leiter (; born 1963) is an American philosopher and legal scholar who is Karl N. Llewellyn Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of Chicago Law School The University of Chicago Law School is a professional graduate school of the ...
(2006) webpag
''"Analytic" and "Continental" Philosophy''
Quote on the definition: "'Analytic' philosophy today names a ''style'' of doing philosophy, not a philosophical program or a set of substantive views. Analytic philosophers, crudely speaking, aim for argumentative clarity and precision; draw freely on the tools of logic; and often identify, professionally and intellectually, more closely with the sciences and mathematics, than with the humanities."
It also takes things piecemeal, in "an attempt to focus philosophical reflection on smaller problems that lead to answers to bigger questions." Analytic philosophy is often understood in contrast to other philosophical traditions, most notably continental philosophies such as
existentialism Existentialism ( ) is a form of philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Rea ...
,
phenomenology Phenomenology may refer to: * Empirical research, when used to describe measurement methods in some sciences * An empirical relationship or phenomenological model * Phenomenology (architecture), based on the experience of building materials and the ...
, and
Hegelianism Hegelianism is the philosophy of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, G. W. F. Hegel which can be summed up by the dictum that "the Rationality, rational alone is real", which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories. ...
.


History

The history of analytic philosophy (taken in the narrower sense of " 20th-/ 21st-century analytic philosophy") is usually thought to begin with the rejection of
British idealism A subset of absolute idealism, British idealism was a philosophical movement that was influential in Britain from the mid-nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. The leading figures in the movement were T. H. Green (1836–1882), F. H ...
, a
neo-Hegelian Absolute idealism is an ontologically monistic philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy o ...
movement. British idealism as taught by philosophers such as F. H. Bradley (1846–1924) and
T. H. Green Thomas Hill Green (7 April 183626 March 1882), known as T. H. Green, was an English philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, ...
(1836–1882), dominated English philosophy in the late 19th century. Since its beginning, a basic goal of analytic philosophy has been conceptual clarity,Mautner, Thomas (editor) (2005) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy'', entry for "Analytic philosophy", pp. 22–23 in the name of which Moore and Russell rejected
Hegelianism Hegelianism is the philosophy of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, G. W. F. Hegel which can be summed up by the dictum that "the Rationality, rational alone is real", which means that all reality is capable of being expressed in rational categories. ...
for being obscure—see for example Moore's " A Defence of Common Sense" and Russell's critique of the
doctrine of internal relationsThe doctrine of internal relations is the philosophical doctrine that all relations are internal to their bearers, in the sense that they are essential to them and the bearers would not be what they are without them. It was a term used in British ph ...
. Inspired by developments in modern
formal logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth Truth is the property of being in accord with fact or reality.Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionarytruth 2005 In everyday language, truth is typically ascribed to things that aim to re ...
, the early Russell claimed that the problems of philosophy can be solved by showing the simple constituents of complex notions. An important aspect of British idealism was
logical holismIn Philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, langua ...
—the opinion that there are aspects of the world that can be known only by knowing the whole world. This is closely related to the opinion that
relations Relation or relations may refer to: General uses *International relations, the study of interconnection of politics, economics, and law on a global level *Interpersonal relationship, association or acquaintance between two or more people *Public ...

relations
between items are ''internal relations'', that is,
properties Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or more components (rather than attributes), whether phys ...
of the nature of those items. Russell, along with Wittgenstein, in response promulgated
logical atomism Logical atomism is a philosophical view that originated in the early 20th century with the development of analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and f ...
and the doctrine of ''external relations''—the belief that the world consists of ''independent'' facts. Russell, during his early career, along with his collaborator
Alfred North Whitehead Alfred North Whitehead (15 February 1861 – 30 December 1947) was an English mathematician A mathematician is someone who uses an extensive knowledge of mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of ...
, was much influenced by
Gottlob Frege Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (; ; 8 November 1848 – 26 July 1925) was a German philosopher, logician, and mathematician. He worked as a mathematics professor at the University of Jena, and is understood by many to be the father of analy ...
(1848–1925), who developed
predicate logic First-order logic—also known as predicate logic, quantificational logic, and first-order predicate calculus—is a collection of formal system A formal system is an abstract structure used for inferring theorems from axioms according to a set of ...
, which allowed a much greater range of sentences to be parsed into logical form than was possible using the ancient
Aristotelian logic In philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, mind, and Philosophy of language, langu ...
. Frege was also influential as a
philosopher of mathematics A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, Ethics, values, Philosophy of mind, ...
in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. In contrast to
Edmund Husserl , thesis1_title = Beiträge zur Variationsrechnung (Contributions to the Calculus of Variations) , thesis1_url = https://fedora.phaidra.univie.ac.at/fedora/get/o:58535/bdef:Book/view , thesis1_year = 1883 , thesis2_title ...

Edmund Husserl
's 1891 book ''Philosophie der Arithmetik'', which argued that the concept of the
cardinal number 150px, Aleph null, the smallest infinite cardinal In mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, structure (algebra), space (geometry), and ca ...
derived from psychical acts of grouping objects and counting them, Frege argued that mathematics and logic have their own validity, independent of the judgments or mental states of individual mathematicians and logicians (which were the basis of arithmetic according to the "
psychologismPsychologism is a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, existence, knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something ...
" of Husserl's ''Philosophie''). Frege further developed his philosophy of logic and mathematics in ''
The Foundations of Arithmetic ''The Foundations of Arithmetic'' (german: Die Grundlagen der Arithmetik) is a book by Gottlob Frege, published in 1884, which investigates the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such a ...
'' (1884) and ''The Basic Laws of Arithmetic'' (german: Grundgesetze der Arithmetik, 1893–1903), where he provided an alternative to psychologistic accounts of the concept of number. Like Frege, Russell argued that mathematics is reducible to logical fundamentals in ''
The Principles of Mathematics ''The Principles of Mathematics'' (''PoM'') is a 1903 book by Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British polymath, philosopher, Mathematical logic, logician, mathemat ...
'' (1903). Later, his book written with Whitehead, ''
Principia Mathematica Image:Principia Mathematica 54-43.png, 500px, ✸54.43: "From this proposition it will follow, when arithmetical addition has been defined, that 1 + 1 = 2." – Volume I, 1st editionp. 379(p. 362 in 2nd edition; p. 360 in abridged v ...
'' (1910–1913), encouraged many philosophers to renew their interest in the development of
symbolic logic Mathematical logic, also called formal logic, is a subfield of mathematics exploring the formal applications of logic to mathematics. It bears close connections to metamathematics, the foundations of mathematics, and theoretical computer science. ...
. Additionally, Russell adopted Frege's predicate logic as his primary philosophical method, a method Russell thought could expose the underlying structure of philosophical problems. For example, the English word "is" has three distinct meanings which predicate logic can express as follows: * For the sentence 'the cat ''is'' asleep', the ''is'' of predication means that "x is P" (denoted as P(x)). * For the sentence 'there ''is'' a cat', the ''is'' of existence means that "there is an x" (∃x). * For the sentence 'three ''is'' half of six', the ''is'' of identity means that "x is the same as y" (x=y). Russell sought to resolve various philosophical problems by applying such logical distinctions, most famously in his analysis of
definite description In formal semantics (natural language), formal semantics and philosophy of language, a definite description is a denotation, denoting phrase in the form of "the X" where X is a noun-phrase or a singular common noun. The definite description is ''pr ...
s in "
On Denoting "On Denoting" is an essay by Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British polymath, philosopher, Mathematical logic, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social criti ...

On Denoting
" (1905).


Ideal language

From about 1910 to 1930, analytic philosophers like Russell and
Ludwig Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationalit ...

Ludwig Wittgenstein
emphasized creating an ideal language for philosophical analysis, which would be free from the ambiguities of ordinary language that, in their opinion, often made philosophy invalid. During this phase, Russell and Wittgenstein sought to understand language (and hence philosophical problems) by using
logic Logic is an interdisciplinary field which studies truth and reasoning. Informal logic seeks to characterize Validity (logic), valid arguments informally, for instance by listing varieties of fallacies. Formal logic represents statements and ar ...
to formalize how philosophical
statements Statement or statements may refer to: Common uses *Statement (computer science)In computer programming Computer programming is the process of designing and building an executable computer program to accomplish a specific computing result or to ...
are made.


Logical atomism

Russell became an advocate of
logical atomism Logical atomism is a philosophical view that originated in the early 20th century with the development of analytic philosophy Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and f ...
. Wittgenstein developed a comprehensive system of logical atomism in his ''
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus The ''Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus'' (widely abbreviated and cited as TLP) is a book-length philosophical work by the Austrian philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of gene ...
'' ( de , Logisch-Philosophische Abhandlung, 1921). He thereby argued that the universe is the totality of actual states of affairs and that these states of affairs can be expressed by the language of first-order predicate logic. Thus a ''picture'' of the universe can be construed by expressing facts in the form of atomic propositions and linking them using
logical operator Logic (from Greek: grc, λογική, label=none, lit=possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argument In logic Logic (from Ancient Greek, Greek: grc, wikt:λογική, λογική, label=none, lit=possessed of reason ...
s.


Logical positivism

During the late 1920s to 1940s, a group of philosophers of the
Vienna Circle The Vienna Circle (german: Wiener Kreis) of Logical Empiricism was a group of philosophers and scientists drawn from the Natural science, natural and Social Sciences, social sciences, logic and mathematics who met regularly from 1924 to 1936 at th ...
and the
Berlin Circle The Berlin Circle (german: die Berliner Gruppe) was a group that maintained logical empiricist Logical positivism, later called logical empiricism, and both of which together are also known as neopositivism, was a movement in Western philosophy wh ...
developed Russell and Wittgenstein's formalism into a doctrine known as "
logical positivism Logical positivism, later called logical empiricism, and both of which together are also known as neopositivism, was a movement in Western philosophy whose central thesis was the verificationism, verification principle (also known as the verifiab ...
" (or logical empiricism). Logical positivism used formal logical methods to develop an empiricist account of knowledge. Philosophers such as
Rudolf Carnap Rudolf Carnap (; ; 18 May 1891 – 14 September 1970) was a German-language philosopher who was active in Europe before 1935 and in the United States thereafter. He was a major member of the Vienna Circle The Vienna Circle (german: Wiener Krei ...
and
Hans Reichenbach Hans Reichenbach (September 26, 1891 – April 9, 1953) was a leading philosopher of science, educator, and proponent of logical empiricism. He was influential in the areas of science, education, and of logical empiricism. He founded the ''Gesell ...
, along with other members of the Vienna Circle, claimed that the truths of logic and mathematics were tautologies, and those of science were verifiable empirical claims. These two constituted the entire universe of meaningful judgments; anything else was nonsense. The claims of ethics, aesthetics, and theology were consequently reduced to pseudo-statements, neither empirically true nor false and therefore meaningless. In reaction to what he considered excesses of logical positivism,
Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British , and . One of the 20th century's most influential , Popper is known for his rejection of the classical views on the in favour of . According to Popper, a ...

Karl Popper
insisted on the role of falsification in the philosophy of science—although his general method was also part of the analytic tradition. With the coming to power of
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator , the Kingdom of Italy, Italian dictator from 1922 to 1943 and Adolf Hitler, the Nazi Germany, German dictator from 1933 to 1945 A di ...

Adolf Hitler
and
Nazism Nazism ( ), officially National Socialism (german: Nationalsozialismus, ), is the ideology An ideology () is a set of belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or that some proposition about th ...

Nazism
in 1933, many members of the Vienna and Berlin Circles fled to Britain and the US, which helped to reinforce the dominance of logical positivism and analytic philosophy in anglophone countries. Logical positivists typically considered philosophy as having a minimal function. For them, philosophy concerned the clarification of thoughts, rather than having a distinct subject matter of its own. The positivists adopted the
verification principle Verificationism, also known as the verification principle or the verifiability criterion of meaning, is the philosophical doctrine which maintains that only statements that are empiricism, empirically verifiable (i.e. verifiable through the senses) ...
, according to which every meaningful statement is either analytic or is capable of being verified by experience. This caused the logical positivists to reject many traditional problems of philosophy, especially those of
metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between ...

metaphysics
or
ontology Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existence, being, Becoming (philosophy), becoming, and reality. It includes the questions of how entities are grouped into Category of being, basic categories and which of these ...

ontology
, as meaningless.


Ordinary language

After
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, during the late 1940s and 1950s, analytic philosophy became involved with ordinary-language analysis. This resulted in two main trends. One continued Wittgenstein's later philosophy, which differed dramatically from his early work of the ''Tractatus''. The other, known as "Oxford philosophy", involved J. L. Austin. In contrast to earlier analytic philosophers (including the early Wittgenstein) who thought philosophers should avoid the deceptive trappings of natural language by constructing ideal languages, ordinary-language philosophers claimed that ordinary language already represents many subtle distinctions not recognized in the formulation of traditional philosophical theories or problems. While schools such as logical positivism emphasize logical terms, supposed to be universal and separate from contingent factors (such as culture, language, historical conditions), ordinary-language philosophy emphasizes the use of language by ordinary people. The most prominent ordinary-language philosophers during the 1950s were the aforementioned Austin and
Gilbert Ryle Gilbert Ryle (1900–1976) was a British philosopher, principally known for his critique of Cartesian dualism, for which he coined the phrase "ghost in the machine." He was a representative of the generation of British ordinary language philosoph ...
. Ordinary-language philosophers often sought to dissolve philosophical problems by showing them to be the result of ordinary misunderstanding language. Examples include Ryle, who tried to dispose of " Descartes' myth", and Wittgenstein.


Contemporary analytic philosophy

Although contemporary philosophers who self-identify as "analytic" have widely divergent interests, assumptions, and methods—and have often rejected the fundamental premises that defined analytic philosophy before 1960—analytic philosophy today is usually considered to be determined by a particular style, characterized by precision and thoroughness about a specific topic, and resistance to "imprecise or cavalier discussions of broad topics". During the 1950s, logical positivism was challenged influentially by Wittgenstein in the ''
Philosophical Investigations ''Philosophical Investigations'' (german: Philosophische Untersuchungen) is a work by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. The book was published posthumously in 1953. Wittgenstein discusses numerous problems and puzzles in the fields of semanti ...
'', Quine in "
Two Dogmas of Empiricism"Two Dogmas of Empiricism" is a paper by analytic philosopher Willard Van Orman Quine Willard Van Orman Quine (; known to his friends as "Van"; June 25, 1908 – December 25, 2000) was an American philosopher and logician Logic (from Greek ...
", and Sellars in '' Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind''. After 1960, anglophone philosophy began to incorporate a wider range of interests, opinions, and methods. Still, many philosophers in Britain and America still consider themselves "analytic philosophers". They have done so largely by expanding the notion of "analytic philosophy" from the specific programs that dominated anglophone philosophy before 1960 to a much more general notion of an "analytic" style. Many philosophers and historians have attempted to define or describe analytic philosophy. Those definitions often include an emphasis on conceptual analysis: A.P. Martinich draws an analogy between analytic philosophy's interest in conceptual analysis and analytic chemistry, which aims to determine chemical compositions. Steven D. Hales described analytic philosophy as one of three types of philosophical method practiced in the West: " roughly reverse order by number of proponents, they are phenomenology, ideological philosophy, and analytic philosophy".
Scott Soames Scott Soames (; born 1945) is an American philosopher. He is a professor of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysics, existence, Epistemology, knowledge, ...
agrees that clarity is important: analytic philosophy, he says, has "an implicit commitment—albeit faltering and imperfect—to the ideals of clarity, rigor and argumentation" and it "aims at truth and knowledge, as opposed to moral or spiritual improvement ..the goal in analytic philosophy is to discover what is true, not to provide a useful recipe for living one's life". Soames also states that analytic philosophy is characterized by "a more piecemeal approach. There is, I think, a widespread presumption within the tradition that it is often possible to make philosophical progress by intensively investigating a small, circumscribed range of philosophical issues while holding broader, systematic questions in abeyance". A few of the most important and active topics and subtopics of analytic philosophy are summarized by the following sections.


Philosophy of mind and cognitive science

Motivated by the logical positivists' interest in verificationism,
logical behaviorismIn the philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the body. The mind–body problem is a paradigmatic issue in philosophy of mind, although a number ...
was the most prominent
theory of mind In psychology Psychology is the scientific Science (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ar ...

theory of mind
of analytic philosophy for the first half of the 20th century. Behaviorists tended to opine either that statements about the mind were equivalent to ''statements about'' behavior and dispositions to behave in particular ways or that mental states were directly equivalent to behavior and dispositions to behave. Behaviorism later became much less popular, in favor of
type physicalism Type physicalism (also known as reductive materialism, type identity theory, mind–brain identity theory and identity theory of mind) is a physicalist theory in the philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies ...
or functionalism, theories that identified mental states with brain states. During this period, topics of the philosophy of mind were often related strongly to topics of
cognitive science Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic discipline An academic discipline or academic field is a subdivision of knowledge that is Educ ...

cognitive science
such as
modularity Broadly speaking, modularity is the degree to which a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its en ...
or innateness. Finally, analytic philosophy has featured a certain number of philosophers who were dualists, and recently forms of property dualism have had a resurgence; the most prominent representative is
David Chalmers David John Chalmers (; born 20 April 1966) is an Australian Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance ...

David Chalmers
.
John Searle John Rogers Searle (; born July 31, 1932) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about reason, Metaphysic ...

John Searle
suggests that the obsession with the philosophy of language during the 20th century has been superseded by an emphasis on the
philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of that studies the and nature of the and its relationship with the body. The is a paradigmatic issue in philosophy of mind, although a number of other issues are addressed, such as the and the nature of parti ...

philosophy of mind
, in which functionalism is currently the dominant theory. In recent years, a central focus of research in the philosophy of mind has been
consciousness Consciousness, at its simplest, is sentience or awareness of internal and external existence. Despite millennia of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosophers and scientists, consciousness remains puzzling and controversial ...

consciousness
. While there is a general consensus for the global neuronal workspace model of consciousness, there are many opinions as to the specifics. The best known theories are
Daniel Dennett Daniel Clement Dennett III (born March 28, 1942) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''philosopher'' comes from the grc, φιλόσοφος, , translit=philosophos, meaning 'lover of wisdom' ...

Daniel Dennett
's
heterophenomenology Heterophenomenology (" phenomenology ''of another'', not oneself") is a term coined by Daniel Dennett Daniel Clement Dennett III (born March 28, 1942) is an American philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term ''ph ...
, Fred Dretske and Michael Tye (philosopher), Michael Tye's direct and indirect realism, representationalism, and the higher-order theories of either David M. Rosenthal (philosopher), David M. Rosenthal—who advocates a higher-order thought (HOT) model—or David Malet Armstrong, David Armstrong and William Lycan—who advocate a higher-order perception (HOP) model. An alternative higher-order theory, the higher-order global states (HOGS) model, is offered by Robert van Gulick.


Ethics in analytic philosophy

Due to the commitments to empiricism and
symbolic logic Mathematical logic, also called formal logic, is a subfield of mathematics exploring the formal applications of logic to mathematics. It bears close connections to metamathematics, the foundations of mathematics, and theoretical computer science. ...
in the early analytic period, early analytic philosophers often thought that inquiry in the ethical domain could not be made rigorous enough to merit any attention. It was only with the emergence of ordinary language philosophers that ethics started to become an acceptable area of inquiry for analytic philosophers. Philosophers working with the analytic tradition have gradually come to distinguish three major types of moral philosophy. * Meta-ethics which investigates moral terms and concepts; * Normative ethics which examines and produces normative ethical judgments; * Applied ethics, which investigates how existing normative principles should be applied to difficult or borderline cases, often cases created by new technology or new scientific knowledge.


Meta-ethics

Twentieth-century meta-ethics has two origins. The first is G.E. Moore's investigation into the nature of ethical terms (e.g., good) in his ''Principia Ethica'' (1903), which identified the naturalistic fallacy. Along with Hume's famous is/ought distinction, the naturalistic fallacy was a major topic of investigation for analytical philosophers. The second is in logical positivism and its attitude that unverifiable statements are meaningless. Although that attitude was adopted originally to promote scientific investigation by rejecting grand metaphysical systems, it had the side effect of making (ethical and aesthetic) value judgments (as well as religious statements and beliefs) meaningless. But because value judgments are of significant importance in human life, it became incumbent on logical positivism to develop an explanation of the nature and meaning of value judgments. As a result, analytic philosophers avoided normative ethics and instead began meta-ethics, meta-ethical investigations into the nature of moral terms, statements, and judgments. The logical positivists opined that statements about Value (ethics), value—including all ethical and aesthetic judgments—are non-cognitivism, non-cognitive; that is, they cannot be objectively verified or falsified. Instead, the logical positivists adopted an emotivism, emotivist theory, which was that value judgments expressed the attitude of the speaker. For example, in this view, saying, "Killing is wrong", is equivalent to saying, "Boo to murder", or saying the word "murder" with a particular tone of disapproval. While analytic philosophers generally accepted non-cognitivism, emotivism had many deficiencies. It evolved into more sophisticated non-cognitivist theories such as the expressivism of Charles Stevenson, and the universal prescriptivism of R.M. Hare, which was based on J.L. Austin's philosophy of speech acts. These theories were not without their critics. Philippa Foot contributed several essays attacking all these theories. J.O. Urmson's article "On Grading" called the is/ought distinction into question. As non-cognitivism, the is/ought distinction, and the naturalistic fallacy began to be called into question, analytic philosophers showed a renewed interest in the traditional questions of moral philosophy. Perhaps the most influential being Elizabeth Anscombe, whose monograph ''Intention'' was called by Donald Davidson (philosopher), Donald Davidson "the most important treatment of action since Aristotle". A favorite student and friend of Ludwig Wittgenstein, her 1958 article "Modern Moral Philosophy" introduced the term "consequentialism" into the philosophical lexicon, declared the "is-ought" impasse to be unproductive, and resulted in a revival of virtue ethics.


Normative ethics

The first half of the 20th century was marked by skepticism toward and neglect of normative ethics. Related subjects, such as social and political philosophy, aesthetics, and philosophy of history, became only marginal topics of English-language philosophy during this period. During this time, utilitarianism was the only non-skeptical type of ethics to remain popular. However, as the influence of logical positivism began to decrease mid-century, analytic philosophers had renewed interest in ethics. G.E.M. Anscombe's 1958 "Modern Moral Philosophy" sparked a revival of Aristotle's Virtue ethics, virtue ethical approach and John Rawls's 1971 ''A Theory of Justice'' restored interest in Kantian ethical philosophy. Today, contemporary normative ethics is dominated by three schools: consequentialism, virtue ethics, and deontology.


Applied ethics

A significant feature of analytic philosophy since approximately 1970 has been the emergence of applied ethics—an interest in the application of moral principles to specific practical issues. The philosophers following this orientation view ethics as involving humanistic values, which involve practical implications and applications in the way people interact and lead their lives socially. Topics of special interest for applied ethics include Environmental ethics, environmental issues, animal rights, and the many challenges created by advancing bioethics, medical science. In education, applied ethics addressed themes such as punishment in schools, Equal opportunity, equality of educational opportunity, and education for democracy.


Analytic philosophy of religion

In ''Analytic Philosophy of Religion'', Harris noted that As with the study of ethics, early analytic philosophy tended to avoid the study of philosophy of religion, largely dismissing (as per the logical positivists) the subject as part of
metaphysics Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between ...

metaphysics
and therefore meaningless. The demise of logical positivism renewed interest in philosophy of religion, prompting philosophers like William Alston, J. L. Mackie, John Mackie, Alvin Plantinga, Robert Merrihew Adams, Richard Swinburne, and Antony Flew not only to introduce new problems, but to re-study classical topics such as the nature of miracles, theistic arguments, the problem of evil, (see existence of God) the rationality of belief in God, concepts of the nature of God, and many more. Plantinga, Mackie and Flew debated the logical validity of the ''free will defense'' as a way to solve the problem of evil. Alston, grappling with the consequences of analytic philosophy of language, worked on the nature of religious language. Adams worked on the relationship of faith and morality. Analytic epistemology and metaphysics has formed the basis for some philosophically-sophisticated theistic arguments, like those of the reformed epistemology, reformed epistemologists like Plantinga. Analytic philosophy of religion has also been preoccupied with Wittgenstein, as well as his interpretation of Søren Kierkegaard's philosophy of religion. Using first-hand remarks (which was later published in ''Philosophical Investigations'', ''Culture and Value'', and other works), philosophers such as Peter Winch and Norman Malcolm developed what has come to be known as ''contemplative philosophy'', a Wittgensteinian school of thought rooted in the "Swansea tradition," and which includes Wittgensteinians such as Rush Rhees, Peter Winch, and D.Z. Phillips, among others. The name "contemplative philosophy" was first coined by D.Z. Phillips in ''Philosophy's Cool Place'', which rests on an interpretation of a passage from Wittgenstein's "Culture and Value." This interpretation was first labeled, "Wittgensteinian Fideism," by Kai Nielsen but those who consider themselves Wittgensteinians in the Swansea tradition have relentlessly and repeatedly rejected this construal as a caricature of Wittgenstein's considered position; this is especially true of D.Z. Phillips. Responding to this interpretation, Kai Nielsen (philosopher), Kai Nielsen and D.Z. Phillips became two of the most prominent philosophers on Wittgenstein's philosophy of religion.


Political philosophy


Liberalism

Current analytic political philosophy owes much to John Rawls, who in a series of papers from the 1950s onward (most notably "Two Concepts of Rules" and "Justice as Fairness") and his 1971 book ''A Theory of Justice'', produced a sophisticated defense of a generally liberal egalitarian account of distributive justice. This was followed soon by Rawls's colleague Robert Nozick's book ''Anarchy, State, and Utopia'', a defence of free-market libertarianism. Isaiah Berlin also had a lasting influence on both analytic political philosophy and liberalism with his lecture "Two Concepts of Liberty". During recent decades there have also been several critiques of liberalism, including the feminism, feminist critiques of Catharine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin, the communitarianism, communitarian critiques of Michael Sandel and Alasdair MacIntyre (although neither of them endorses the term), and the multiculturalism, multiculturalist critiques of Amy Gutmann and Charles Taylor (philosopher), Charles Taylor. Although not an analytic philosopher, Jürgen Habermas is another prominent—if controversial—author of contemporary analytic political philosophy, whose social theory is a blend of social science, Marxism, neo-Kantianism, and American pragmatism. Consequentialist libertarianism also derives from the analytic tradition.


Analytical Marxism

Another development of political philosophy was the emergence of the school of analytical Marxism. Members of this school seek to apply techniques of analytic philosophy and modern social science such as rational choice theory to clarify the theories of Karl Marx and his successors. The best-known member of this school is G. A. Cohen, whose 1978 work, ''Karl Marx's Theory of History: A Defence'', is generally considered to represent the genesis of this school. In that book, Cohen used logical and linguistic analysis to clarify and defend Marx's materialist conception of history. Other prominent analytical Marxists include the economist John Roemer, the social scientist Jon Elster, and the sociologist Erik Olin Wright. The work of these later philosophers have furthered Cohen's work by bringing to bear modern social science methods, such as rational choice theory, to supplement Cohen's use of analytic philosophical techniques in the interpretation of Marxian theory. Cohen himself would later engage directly with Rawlsian political philosophy to advance a socialist theory of justice that contrasts with both traditional Marxism and the theories advanced by Rawls and Nozick. In particular, he indicates Marx's principle of from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.


Communitarianism

Communitarians such as Alasdair MacIntyre, Charles Taylor (philosopher), Charles Taylor, Michael Walzer, and Michael Sandel advance a critique of liberalism that uses analytic techniques to isolate the main assumptions of liberal individualists, such as Rawls, and then challenges these assumptions. In particular, communitarians challenge the liberal assumption that the individual can be considered as fully autonomous from the community in which he lives and is brought up. Instead, they argue for a conception of the individual that emphasizes the role that the community plays in forming his or her values, thought processes and opinions.


Analytic metaphysics

One striking difference with respect to early analytic philosophy was the revival of metaphysical theorizing during the second half of the 20th century. Philosophers such as David Kellogg Lewis and David Malet Armstrong, David Armstrong developed elaborate theories on a range of topics such as universals, causation, possibility and necessity, and abstract objects. Among the developments that resulted in the revival of metaphysical theorizing were Quine's attack on the analytic proposition, analytic–synthetic distinction, which was generally considered to weaken Rudolf Carnap, Carnap's distinction between existence questions internal to a framework and those external to it. Important also for the revival of metaphysics was the further development of modal logic, including the work of
Saul Kripke Saul Aaron Kripke (; born November 13, 1940) is an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition. He is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and emeritus professor at Pr ...

Saul Kripke
, who argued in ''Naming and Necessity'' and elsewhere for the existence of essences and the possibility of Alethic modal logic, necessary, a posteriori truths. Metaphysics remains a fertile topic of research, having recovered from the attacks of A.J. Ayer and the Logical positivism, logical positivists. Although many discussions are continuations of old ones from previous decades and centuries, the debate remains active. The philosophy of fiction, the problem of empty names, and the debate over existence's status as a property have all become major concerns, while perennial issues such as free will, possible worlds, and the philosophy of time have been revived.Van Inwagen, Peter, and Dean Zimmerman (eds.) (1998), ''Metaphysics: The Big Questions.'' Science has also had an increasingly significant role in metaphysics. The theory of special relativity has had a profound effect on the philosophy of time, and quantum physics is routinely discussed in the free will debate. The weight given to scientific evidence is largely due to widespread commitments among philosophers to scientific realism and Naturalism (philosophy), naturalism.


Philosophy of language

Philosophy of language is a topic that has decreased in activity during the last four decades, as evidenced by the fact that few major philosophers today treat it as a primary research topic. Indeed, while the debate remains fierce, it is still strongly influenced by those authors from the first half of the century:
Gottlob Frege Friedrich Ludwig Gottlob Frege (; ; 8 November 1848 – 26 July 1925) was a German philosopher, logician, and mathematician. He worked as a mathematics professor at the University of Jena, and is understood by many to be the father of analy ...
,
Bertrand Russell Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British , , , , , , , , and .Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy"Bertrand Russell" 1 May 2003 Throughout his life, Russell considered himself a , a and ...
,
Ludwig Wittgenstein Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein ( ; ; 26 April 1889 – 29 April 1951) was an Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationalit ...

Ludwig Wittgenstein
, J.L. Austin, Alfred Tarski, and Willard Van Orman Quine, W.V.O. Quine. In
Saul Kripke Saul Aaron Kripke (; born November 13, 1940) is an American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition. He is a Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and emeritus professor at Pr ...

Saul Kripke
's publication ''Naming and Necessity'', he argued influentially that flaws in common theories of proper names are indicative of larger misunderstandings of the metaphysics of necessity and possibility. By wedding the techniques of modal logic to a causal theory of reference, Kripke was widely regarded as reviving theories of essence and identity as respectable topics of philosophical discussion. Another influential philosopher, Pavel Tichý initiated Transparent Intensional Logic, an original theory of the logical analysis of natural languages—the theory is devoted to the problem of saying exactly what it is that we learn, know and can communicate when we come to understand what a sentence means.


Philosophy of science

Reacting against both the verificationism of the logical positivists as well as the critiques of the philosopher of science
Karl Popper Sir Karl Raimund Popper (28 July 1902 – 17 September 1994) was an Austrian-British , and . One of the 20th century's most influential , Popper is known for his rejection of the classical views on the in favour of . According to Popper, a ...

Karl Popper
, who had suggested the falsifiability criterion on which to judge the demarcation between science and non-science, discussions of philosophy of science during the last 40 years were dominated by social constructivism, social constructivist and cognitive relativism, cognitive relativist theories of science. Thomas Samuel Kuhn with his formulation of paradigm shifts and Paul Feyerabend with his epistemological anarchism are significant for these discussions. The philosophy of biology has also undergone considerable growth, particularly due to the considerable debate in recent years over the nature of evolution, particularly natural selection. Daniel Dennett and his 1995 book ''Darwin's Dangerous Idea'', which defends Neo-Darwinism, stand at the foreground of this debate.


Epistemology

Owing largely to Gettier's 1963 paper "Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?", epistemology resurged as a topic of analytic philosophy during the last 50 years. A large portion of current epistemological research is intended to resolve the problems that Gettier's examples presented to the traditional justified true belief model of knowledge, including developing Theory of justification, theories of justification in order to deal with Gettier's examples, or giving alternatives to the justified true belief model. Other and related topics of contemporary research include debates between internalism and externalism, basic knowledge, the nature of evidence, the value of knowledge, epistemic luck, virtue epistemology, the role of intuition (philosophy), intuitions in justification, and treating knowledge as a primitive concept.


Aesthetics

As a result of attacks on the traditional aesthetic notions of beauty and sublimity from post-modern thinkers, analytic philosophers were slow to consider art and aesthetic judgment. Susanne Langer and Nelson Goodman addressed these problems in an analytic style during the 1950s and 1960s. Since Goodman, aesthetics as a discipline for analytic philosophers has flourished. Rigorous efforts to pursue analyses of traditional aesthetic concepts were performed by Guy Sircello in the 1970s and 1980s, resulting in new analytic theories of love, sublimity, and beauty.Guy Sircello, ''A New Theory of Beauty.'' Princeton Essays on the Arts, 1. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1975.


See also

* Analytic phenomenology * Analytical Thomism * Logicism * Philosophical analysis * Postanalytic philosophy * Scientism


Notes


References

* Aristotle, ''Metaphysics (Aristotle), Metaphysics'' * Geach, P., ''Mental Acts'', London 1957 * Kenny, A.J.P., ''Wittgenstein'', London 1973. * * Wittgenstein, ''
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus The ''Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus'' (widely abbreviated and cited as TLP) is a book-length philosophical work by the Austrian philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of gene ...
''


Further reading

* Th
London Philosophy Study Guide
offers many suggestions on what to read, depending on the student's familiarity with the subject

* Dummett, Michael. ''The Origins of Analytical Philosophy''. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993. * Hirschberger, Johannes. ''A Short History of Western Philosophy'', ed. Clare Hay

* Hylton, Peter. ''Russell, Idealism, and the Emergence of Analytic Philosophy''. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. * Soames, Scott. ''Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century: Volume 1, The Dawn of Analysis''. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2003. * Passmore, John. ''A Hundred Years of Philosophy'', revised ed. New York: Basic Books, 1966. * Weitz, Morris, ed. ''Twentieth Century Philosophy: The Analytic Tradition''. New York: Free Press, 1966.


External links

* * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Analytic Philosophy Analytic philosophy, 20th-century philosophy, Contemporary philosophy History of logic Philosophical movements Philosophical traditions