The Analytic Tradition in Philosophy, Volume 1

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

Copyright Date: 2014
Edition: STU - Student edition
Pages: 680
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  • Book Info
    The Analytic Tradition in Philosophy, Volume 1
    Book Description:

    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 hisTractatus, which ushered in a "linguistic turn" in philosophy that was to last for decades.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5045-7
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    (pp. xi-xviii)
    • CHAPTER 1 Foundations of Logic, Language, and Mathematics
      (pp. 3-59)

      The German philosopher-logician Gottlob Frege was born in 1848, graduated with a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Gottingen in 1873, and earned his Habilitation in Mathematics from the University of Jena in 1874, where he taught for 43 years until his retirement in 1917, after which he continued to write on issues in philosophical logic and the philosophy of mathematics until his death in 1925. While he is now recognized as one of the greatest philosophical logicians, philosophers of mathematics, and philosophers of language of all time, his seminal achievements in these areas initially elicited little interest from...

    • CHAPTER 2 Critical Challenges
      (pp. 60-130)

      As explained in chapter 1, Frege’s semantic analysis of quantification, both universal and existential, was a major advance that played a central role in his invention of modern logic. There are, however, some puzzles and confusions that are either inherent in, or have been associated with, the analysis. The first cluster of difficulties concerns the relationship between the notion of existence and what I will here call “the particular (as opposed to universal) quantifier,” but which in fact is usually called “the existential quantifier,” namely ‘Ǝ’. As we have seen, Frege would formalize the English sentence (1a) as (1b), implicitly...

    • CHAPTER 3 Becoming G. E. Moore
      (pp. 133-171)

      George Edward Moore was born in 1873 in a suburb of London. He entered Cambridge University in 1892 as a classical scholar. At the end of his first year he met Bertrand Russell, two years his senior, who encouraged him to study philosophy, which he did with great success. His teachers at Cambridge included one of the chief proponents of Absolute Idealism in Britain, J.M.E. McTaggart, and one of Idealism’s important critics, the leading ethicist Henry Sidgwick. Of the two, Moore was most drawn to McTaggart, who temporarily converted him to Absolute Idealism and made him an admirer of the...

    • CHAPTER 4 Goodness and the Foundations of Ethics
      (pp. 172-205)

      Moore’s 1903Principia Ethicawas to become one of the philosophical classics of the twentieth century.¹ In the preface, he distinguishes two kinds of ethical questions.

      A. What kinds of things ought to exist for their own sakes?

      are good in themselves?

      have intrinsic value?

      B. What kinds of actions ought we to perform?

      are right?

      are duties?

      He takes the different versions of A to be equivalent. The same is true of the B questions, with the exception of a slight difference between what he means by calling an action ourduty, or one thatwe ought to perform,...

    • CHAPTER 5 Truth, Skepticism, Perception, and Knowledge
      (pp. 206-241)

      The first chapter, “What Is Philosophy?,” is an instructive indicator of the state of “analytic philosophy” in the first decade of the twentieth century. In it Moore discusses what he takes to be philosophy’s most important questions, outlines alternative answers, and locates what later lectures will make clear to be the place occupied by his own position in this range of alternatives. Looking back a century later, two features leap from his text. First, the conception of philosophy in the mind of a founding father of what is often seen as a “revolutionary” new departure in philosophy remains thoroughly traditional....

    • CHAPTER 6 The Mixed Legacy and Lost Opportunities of Moore’s Ethics
      (pp. 242-260)

      Moore’s two most influential and long-remembered contributions to philosophy were (i) his proof of an external world (and the defense of Common Sense that accompanied it) and (ii) his metaethical doctrines that ‘good’ (and other ethical notions) are not definable in nonethical terms, and that, because of this, fundamental ethical conclusions are neither provable, nor capable of support, confirmation, or disconfirmation by evidence. Though Moore was, I think, comfortable holding these views together, they tended to push the philosophy of their day in opposite directions. Lecturing to the British Academy on November 22, 1939, the longtime defender of Common Sense...

    • CHAPTER 7 Early Russell: Logic, Philosophy, and The Principles of Mathematics
      (pp. 263-327)

      Most of this chapter will be devoted to Russell’sPrinciples of Mathematics. Like Moore’sPrincipia Ethica, it was published in 1903. Also likePrincipia Ethica,it was both its author’s most ambitious philosophical work to date, and on a subject—in Russell’s case the philosophical foundations of mathematics—with which the author would forever be identified. However, unlikePrincipia Ethica,it did not become the author’s canonical text on that subject, which for Russell would come in the years 1910–13 with the publication of his magisterial three-volume classic,Principia Mathematica,coauthored with Alfred North Whitehead. Also unlikePrincipia Ethica,...

    • CHAPTER 8 Russell’s Theory of Descriptions: “On Denoting”
      (pp. 328-412)

      Russell’s first words in “On Denoting” sketch the scope of the new theory to be developed in what was to become one of the most celebrated and influential philosophical articles in the twentieth century.

      By a “denoting phrase” I mean a phrase such as any one of the following: [here the reader should supply quotes around each phrase] a man, some man, any man, every man, all men, the present King of England, the present King of France, the centre of mass of the Solar System at the first instant of the twentieth century, the revolution of the earth round...

    • CHAPTER 9 Truth, Falsity, and Judgment
      (pp. 413-472)

      The story of Russell’s break with the British versions of Hegelianism he encountered at Cambridge was partially told in section 1 of chapter 7. That part of the saga focused on his early attraction to, but subsequent rejection of, Idealism as a substitute for religion and a way of securing a moral universe. But Russell’s rebellion was not restricted to his discovery that Idealism could not fulfill his moral and religious impulses; it also stemmed from metaphysical disagreements with the Idealists about truth and reality. Together, these two aspects of his break with Idealism were crucial to his “becoming Bertrand...

    • CHAPTER 10 Russell’s Logicism
      (pp. 473-534)

      Chapter 1 contained extensive discussion of the philosophical goals of Frege’s logicist project as well as his strategy of identifying natural numbers with classes of Fregean concepts (functions from objects to truth values) the extensions of which (the sets of objects to which they assign truth) are equinumerous with one another (i.e., can be put in one-to-one correspondence). In addition, his logical axioms and definitions of arithmetically primitive notions were presented, along with some details of how he proved the axioms of arithmetic as theorems of his system. We now turn to Russell’s version of the project. By 1910, when...

    • CHAPTER 11 Our Knowledge of the External World
      (pp. 535-567)

      In the spring of 1914, Russell delivered a series of eight Lowell Lectures at Harvard University meant to illustrate the power of his new method of logical and linguistic analysis as the route to progress in philosophy. Fresh off the widely acclaimed success of his theory of denoting phrases presented in “On Denoting” and of his logicist reduction, presented inPrincipia Mathematica, he focused on a variety of topics including causation and free will, infinity, “logic as the essence of philosophy,” and the application of mathematical notions of continuous series to spatiotemporal occurrences involving change, motion, and speed. However, the...

    • CHAPTER 12 The Philosophy of Logical Atomism
      (pp. 568-630)

      As we have seen, Russell’s mature philosophical development began with an intense focus on issues in logic, language, and the philosophy of mathematics illustrated inThe Principles of Mathematics(1903) and “On Denoting” (1905). The issues raised there led to deeper and broader concerns with the nature of truth, falsity, facts, judgments, and propositions found in “On the Nature of Truth” (1906), “On the Nature of Truth and Falsity” (1910), chapter 12 ofThe Problems of Philosophy(1912), andTheory of Knowledge(1913). At the same time, he waded more deeply into epistemology and the philosophy of mind with his...

    (pp. 631-632)
    (pp. 633-646)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 647-657)