The Analytic Tradition in Philosophy, Volume 1: The Founding Giants

Princeton University Press
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This is the first of five volumes of a definitive history of analytic philosophy from the invention of modern logic in 1879 to the end of the twentieth century. Scott Soames, a leading philosopher of language and historian of analytic philosophy, provides the fullest and most detailed account of the analytic tradition yet published, one that is unmatched in its chronological range, topics covered, and depth of treatment. Focusing on the major milestones and distinguishing them from the dead ends, Soames gives a seminal account of where the analytic tradition has been and where it appears to be heading.

Volume 1 examines the initial phase of the analytic tradition through the major contributions of three of its four founding giants—Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and G. E. Moore. Soames describes and analyzes their work in logic, the philosophy of mathematics, epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and the philosophy of language. He explains how by about 1920 their efforts had made logic, language, and mathematics central to philosophy in an unprecedented way. But although logic, language, and mathematics were now seen as powerful tools to attain traditional ends, they did not yet define philosophy. As volume 1 comes to a close, that was all about to change with the advent of the fourth founding giant, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the 1922 English publication of his Tractatus, which ushered in a "linguistic turn" in philosophy that was to last for decades.

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About the author

Scott Soames is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Philosophy of Language, What Is Meaning?, Reference and Description, the two-volume Philosophical Essays, and the two-volume Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century (all Princeton).
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Mar 23, 2014
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Pages
680
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ISBN
9781400850457
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Language
English
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Genres
Philosophy / History & Surveys / General
Philosophy / History & Surveys / Modern
Philosophy / Movements / Analytic
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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An in-depth history of the linguistic turn in analytic philosophy, from a leading philosopher of language

This is the second of five volumes of a definitive history of analytic philosophy from the invention of modern logic in 1879 to the end of the twentieth century. Scott Soames, a leading philosopher of language and historian of analytic philosophy, provides the fullest and most detailed account of the analytic tradition yet published, one that is unmatched in its chronological range, topics covered, and depth of treatment. Focusing on the major milestones and distinguishing them from detours, Soames gives a seminal account of where the analytic tradition has been and where it appears to be heading.

Volume 2 provides an intensive account of the new vision in analytical philosophy initiated by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, its assimilation by the Vienna Circle of Moritz Schlick and Rudolf Carnap, and the subsequent flowering of logical empiricism. With this “linguistic turn,” philosophical analysis became philosophy itself, and the discipline’s stated aim was transformed from advancing philosophical theories to formalizing, systematizing, and unifying science. In addition to exploring the successes and failures of philosophers who pursued this vision, the book describes how the philosophically minded logicians Kurt Gödel, Alfred Tarski, Alonzo Church, and Alan Turing discovered the scope and limits of logic and developed the mathematical theory of computation that ushered in the digital era. The book’s account of this pivotal period closes with a searching examination of the struggle to preserve ethical normativity in a scientific age.

In this collection of recent and unpublished essays, leading analytic philosopher Scott Soames traces milestones in his field from its beginnings in Britain and Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, through its subsequent growth in the United States, up to its present as the world's most vigorous philosophical tradition. The central essay chronicles how analytic philosophy developed in the United States out of American pragmatism, the impact of European visitors and immigrants, the midcentury transformation of the Harvard philosophy department, and the rapid spread of the analytic approach that followed. Another essay explains the methodology guiding analytic philosophy, from the logicism of Frege and Russell through Wittgenstein's linguistic turn and Carnap's vision of replacing metaphysics with philosophy of science. Further essays review advances in logic and the philosophy of mathematics that laid the foundation for a rigorous, scientific study of language, meaning, and information. Other essays discuss W.V.O. Quine, David K. Lewis, Saul Kripke, the Frege-Russell analysis of quantification, Russell's attempt to eliminate sets with his "no class theory," and the Quine-Carnap dispute over meaning and ontology. The collection then turns to topics at the frontier of philosophy of language. The final essays, combining philosophy of language and law, advance a sophisticated originalist theory of interpretation and apply it to U.S. constitutional rulings about due process.
This collection brings together the best contemporary philosophical work in the area of intersection between philosophy of language and the law. Some of the contributors are philosophers of language who are interested in applying advances in philosophy of language to legal issues, and some of the participants are philosophers of law who are interested in applying insights and theories from philosophy of language to their work on the nature of law and legal interpretation. By making this body of recent work available in a single volume, readers will gain both a general overview of the various interactions between language and law, and also detailed analyses of particular areas in which this interaction is manifest. The contributions to this volume are grouped under three main general areas: The first area concerns a critical assessment, in light of recent advances in philosophy of language, of the foundational role of language in understanding the nature of law itself. The second main area concerns a number of ways in which an understanding of language can resolve some of the issues prevalent in legal interpretation, such as the various ways in which semantic content can differ from law's assertive content; the contribution of presuppositions and pragmatic implicatures in understanding what the law conveys; the role of vagueness in legal language, for example. The third general topic concerns the role of language in the context of particular legal doctrines and legal solutions to practical problems, such as the legal definitions of inchoate crimes, the legal definition of torture, or the contractual doctrines concerning default rules. Together, these three key issues cover a wide range of philosophical interests in law that can be elucidated by a better understanding of language and linguistic communication.
An in-depth history of the linguistic turn in analytic philosophy, from a leading philosopher of language

This is the second of five volumes of a definitive history of analytic philosophy from the invention of modern logic in 1879 to the end of the twentieth century. Scott Soames, a leading philosopher of language and historian of analytic philosophy, provides the fullest and most detailed account of the analytic tradition yet published, one that is unmatched in its chronological range, topics covered, and depth of treatment. Focusing on the major milestones and distinguishing them from detours, Soames gives a seminal account of where the analytic tradition has been and where it appears to be heading.

Volume 2 provides an intensive account of the new vision in analytical philosophy initiated by Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, its assimilation by the Vienna Circle of Moritz Schlick and Rudolf Carnap, and the subsequent flowering of logical empiricism. With this “linguistic turn,” philosophical analysis became philosophy itself, and the discipline’s stated aim was transformed from advancing philosophical theories to formalizing, systematizing, and unifying science. In addition to exploring the successes and failures of philosophers who pursued this vision, the book describes how the philosophically minded logicians Kurt Gödel, Alfred Tarski, Alonzo Church, and Alan Turing discovered the scope and limits of logic and developed the mathematical theory of computation that ushered in the digital era. The book’s account of this pivotal period closes with a searching examination of the struggle to preserve ethical normativity in a scientific age.

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