Types of conceptual enquiry : a case for thinking there is a type that does not depend on the notion of analyticity
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Many if not all Analytic Philosophers in the first seventy years or so of Analytic Philosophy thought that enquiry into concepts had a significant place in philosophy. This is not a view shared by most contemporary Analytic Philosophers. One reason for this change in attitude is Quine’s famous critique of analyticity. Enquiry into concepts had been thought to depend on a satisfactory notion of analyticity. Many thought that Quine had shown that no such notion is available. It is true that the traditional model of Conceptual Analysis operated with the notion of analyticity. The reductive project of Conceptual Analysis was supposed to issue in analytic truths that were necessarily true and knowable a priori. Furthermore the necessity of these truths, and the fact that they were knowable a priori were accounted for in terms of their analyticity. I argue that there is an alternative model of Conceptual Enquiry which does not require a notion of analyticity to do the work it does. I argue that the notion of analyticity is not central to the style of philosophising of the Ordinary Language Philosophers. Major ‘Ordinary Language Philosophers’ did not appeal to the notion of analyticity in describing or accounting for their work. Neither is such a notion required to account for their work. The upshot is that one ought not to conclude that enquiry into concepts is redundant for philosophical purposes on account of there being no satisfactory notion of analyticity.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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