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    ABSTRACT: Analytic philosophy is sometimes said to have particularly close connections to logic and to science, and no particularly interesting or close relation to its own history. It is argued here that although the connections to logic and science have been important in the development of analytic philosophy, these connections do not come close to characterizing the nature of analytic philosophy, either as a body of doctrines or as a philosophical method. We will do better to understand analytic philosophy—and its relationship to continental philosophy—if we see it as a historically constructed collection of texts, which define its key problems and concerns. It is true, however, that analytic philosophy has paid little attention to the history of the subject. This is both its strength—since it allows for a distinctive kind of creativity—and its weakness—since ignoring history can encourage a philosophical variety of “normal science.”
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Metaphilosophy
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    ABSTRACT: According to one creation myth, analytic philosophy emerged in Cambridge when Moore and Russell abandoned idealism in favour of naive realism: every word stood for something; it was only after “the Fall,” Russell's discovery of his theory of descriptions, that they realized some complex phrases (“the present King of France”) didn't stand for anything. It has become a commonplace of recent scholarship to object that even before the Fall, Russell acknowledged that such phrases may fail to denote. But we need to go further: even before the Fall, Russell had taken an altogether more discerning approach to the ontology of logic and relations than is usually recognized.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Metaphilosophy
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    ABSTRACT: A singular thought can be characterized as a thought which is directed at just one object. The term ‘thought’ can apply to episodes of thinking, or to the content of the episode (what is thought). This paper argues that episodes of thinking can be just as singular, in the above sense, when they are directed at things that do not exist as when they are directed at things that do exist. In this sense, then, singular thoughts are not object-dependent.
    Preview · Article · May 2011
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