By Scott Soames
In this number of fresh and unpublished essays, best analytic thinker Scott Soames strains milestones in his box from its beginnings in Britain and Germany within the past due 19th and early 20th century, via its next development within the usa, as much as its current because the world's so much lively philosophical culture. The principal essay chronicles how analytic philosophy constructed within the usa out of yank pragmatism, the impression of eu viewers and immigrants, the midcentury transformation of the Harvard philosophy division, and the fast unfold of the analytic process that undefined. one other essay explains the method guiding analytic philosophy, from the logicism of Frege and Russell via Wittgenstein's linguistic flip and Carnap's imaginative and prescient of changing metaphysics with philosophy of technological know-how. extra essays evaluation advances in common sense and the philosophy of arithmetic that laid the root for a rigorous, clinical learn of language, that means, and knowledge. different essays speak about W.V.O. Quine, David okay. Lewis, Saul Kripke, the Frege-Russell research of quantification, Russell's try to get rid of units along with his "no classification theory," and the Quine-Carnap dispute over that means and ontology. the gathering then turns to issues on the frontier of philosophy of language. the ultimate essays, combining philosophy of language and legislations, improve a worldly originalist conception of interpretation and use it on U.S. constitutional rulings approximately due process.
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Additional info for Analytic Philosophy in America: And Other Historical and Contemporary Essays
20 • chapter 1 All that changed with Kripke’s introduction of rigid designation, direct reference, and nondescriptionality. His argument that names and natural kind terms are rigid designators, and so not equivalent to descriptions associated with them by speakers, was the entering wedge. He next used rigid designation to rebut Quine’s famous objection to essentialism, enshrined in (iv). A rigid designator t of an object o is one that picks out o in all possible circumstances in which o exists.
This work not only influenced the philosophical logicians who were to follow but also provided the basis for an approach to semantics in theoretical linguistics that has lasted into the new century. Formal, truth-conditional semantics of the languages of modern symbolic logic began with Tarski in the 1930s. Then, with the philosophical logic of Marcus, Carnap, Prior, Kripke, Montague and others, the range of linguistic constructions amenable to these techniques was expanded to include those expressing time and tense, necessity and possibility, and many others.
On the Stalnaker-Lewis approach—widely credited as a significant advance—If it had been the case that A, then it would have been the case that B is true iff among the world-states at which A is true, those in which B is also true are more similar to the actual world-state than those in which B is false (with the relevant similarity relation depending on aspects of the context of utterance). In addition to providing solutions to logical and semantic problems, this analysis had the effect of legitimizing and clarifying the role of counterfactuals in illuminating a variety of philosophically important concepts.
Analytic Philosophy in America: And Other Historical and Contemporary Essays by Scott Soames