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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

2 - Analyticity

from Section One - Language, Mind, Epistemology


W. V. Quine’s criticisms of Rudolf Carnap’s efforts to draw a boundary between analytic and synthetic sentences shook mid-twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy to its foundations, leaving logical empiricism in ruins and sparking the development of radically new ways of theorizing that continue to shape philosophy today. Despite decades of discussion, however, neither Carnap’s analytic–synthetic distinction nor Quine’s criticisms of it are well understood. My central goals here are to summarize and clarify them, evaluate influential objections to Quine’s criticisms, survey related work on analyticity and apriority by Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke, David Chalmers, Paul Boghossian, and Gillian Russell, among others, and briefly discuss whether meaning is determinate in ways that recent explications of analyticity require.

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