Breaking the spell: Waismann's papers on the analytic/synthetic distinction

Book chapter


Russell, Gillian. (2019). Breaking the spell: Waismann's papers on the analytic/synthetic distinction. In In D. Makovec and S. Shapiro (Ed.). Friedrich Waismann: The Open Texture of Analytic Philosophy pp. 159 - 187 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-25008-9_8
AuthorsRussell, Gillian
EditorsD. Makovec and S. Shapiro
Abstract

This paper explores, develops, and evaluates Waismann’s six papers on the analytic/synthetic distinction, which were published in Analysis between 1949 and 1953. Although the sequence is unfinished, Waismann develops a view of analyticity on which it can be defined in terms of definitions. Definitions, however, are a diverse group of things which cannot be given a definition themselves. Much like a family resemblance expression, definitions are irregular, incomplete, and their extensions are subject to our choices. Analyticity—being defined in terms of definitions—inherits these properties. Given the foundational importance of analyticity in the linguistic approach to philosophy popular at the time Waismann was writing, the view turns out to have far-reaching consequences for Positivism, for Ordinary Language Philosophy, for the epistemology of logic, and for the way we pursue philosophy.

Page range159 - 187
Year2019
Book titleFriedrich Waismann: The Open Texture of Analytic Philosophy
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Place of publicationPittsbury, United States of America
ISBN9783030250089
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-25008-9_8
Research GroupDianoia Institute of Philosophy
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