Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century

ISBN-10: 0691123128
ISBN-13: 9780691123127
Edition: 2004
Authors: Scott Soames
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Description: This is a major, wide-ranging history of analytic philosophy since 1900, told by one of the tradition's leading contemporary figures. The first volume takes the story from 1900 to mid-century. The second brings the history up to date. As Scott  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 2/6/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 504
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.760
Language: English

This is a major, wide-ranging history of analytic philosophy since 1900, told by one of the tradition's leading contemporary figures. The first volume takes the story from 1900 to mid-century. The second brings the history up to date. As Scott Soames tells it, the story of analytic philosophy is one of great but uneven progress, with leading thinkers making important advances toward solving the tradition's core problems. Though no broad philosophical position ever achieved lasting dominance, Soames argues that two methodological developments have, over time, remade the philosophical landscape. These are (1) analytic philosophers' hard-won success in understanding, and distinguishing the notions of logical truth, a priori truth, and necessary truth, and (2) gradual acceptance of the idea that philosophical speculation must be grounded in sound prephilosophical thought. Though Soames views this history in a positive light, he also illustrates the difficulties, false starts, and disappointments endured along the way. As he engages with the work of his predecessors and contemporaries--from Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein to Donald Davidson and Saul Kripke--he seeks to highlight their accomplishments while also pinpointing their shortcomings, especially where their perspectives were limited by an incomplete grasp of matters that have now become clear. Soames himself has been at the center of some of the tradition's most important debates, and throughout writes with exceptional ease about its often complex ideas. His gift for clear exposition makes the history as accessible to advanced undergraduates as it will be important to scholars. Despite its centrality to philosophy in the English-speaking world, the analytic tradition in philosophy has had very few synthetic histories. This will be the benchmark against which all future accounts will be measured.

Acknowledgments
Introduction to Volume 2
Ludwig Wittgenstein'S Philosophical Investigations
Rejection of the Tractarian Conception of Language and Analysis
Rule Following and the Private Language Argument
Suggested Further Reading
Classics of Ordinary Language Philosophy: Truth, Goodness, The mind, and analysis
Ryle's Dilemmas
Ryle's Concept of Mind
Strawson's Performative Theory of Truth
Hare's Performative Theory of Goodness
Suggested Further Reading
More classics of Ordinary Language Philosophy: The Response to Radical Skepticism
Malcolm's Paradigm Case Argument
Austin's Sense and Sensibilia
Suggested Further Reading
Paul Grice and the End of Ordinary language Philosophy
Language Use and the Logic of Conversation
Suggested Further Reading
The Philosophical Naturalism of Willard Van Orman Quine
The Indeterminacy of Translation
Quine's Radical Semantic Eliminativism
Suggested Further Reading
Donald Davidson on Truth and Meaning
Theories of Truth as Theories of Meaning
Truth, Interpretation, and the Alleged Unintelligibility of Alternative Conceptual Schemes
Suggested Further Reading
Saul Kripke on Naming and Necessity
Names, Essence, and Possibility
The Necessary Aposteriori
The Contingent Apriori
Natural Kind Terms and Theoretical Identification Statements
Suggested Further Reading
Epilogue
The Era of Specialization
Index

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