Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century: The dawn of analysis, Volume 1

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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.

 

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Contents

Common Sense and Philosophical Analysis
3
Moore on Skepticism Perception and Knowledge
12
Moore on Goodness and the Foundations of Ethics
34
The Legacies and Lost Opportunities of Moores Ethics
71
Suggested Further Reading
89
BERTRAND RUSSELL ON LOGICAL AND LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS
91
Logical Form Grammatical Form and the Theory of Description
93
Logic and Mathematics The Logicist Reduction
132
The Tractarian Test of Intelligibility and Its Consequences
234
Suggested Further Reading
254
LOGICAL POSITIVISM EMOTIVISM AND ETHICS
255
The Logical Positivists on Necessity and Apriori Knowledge
257
The Rise and Fall of the Empiricist Criterion of Meaning
271
Emotivism and Its Critics
300
Normative ethics in the Era of Emotivism The Anticonsequentialism of Sir David Ross
320
Suggested Further Reading
346

Logical Constructions and the External World
165
Russells Logical Atomism
182
Suggested Further Reading
194
LUDWIG WITTGENSTEINS TRACTATUS
195
The Metaphysics of the Tractatus
197
Meaning Truth and Logic in the Tractatus
214
THE POSTPOSITIVIST PERSPECTIVE OF THE EARLY W V QUINE
349
The Analytic and the Synthetic the Necessary and the Possible the Apriori and the Aposteriori
351
Meaning and Holistic Verificationism
378
Suggested Further Reading
406
Index
409
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About the author (2003)

Scott Soames is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. His other books include Reference and Description (Princeton), Beyond Rigidity, and Understanding Truth.

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