Analytic Philosophy in America

Analytic Philosophy in America : And Other Historical and Contemporary Essays

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In this collection of recent and unpublished essays, leading analytic philosopher Scott Soames traces milestones in his field from its beginnings in Britain and Germany in the late nineteenth and early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.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 376 pages
  • 152 x 235 x 29.46mm | 652g
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0691160724
  • 9780691160726
  • 1,598,981

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"This is a very good collection of philosophical essays--probably as good as any currently being published anywhere by anyone."--Gilbert Harman, Princeton University
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Table of contents

Introduction ix Origins of the Essays xxv PART ONE Milestones 1 Analytic Philosophy in America (2008) 3 2 Methodology in Late Nineteenth-and Early Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy (forthcoming) 35 3 Language, Meaning, and Information: A Case Study on the Path from Philosophy to Science 60 4 For Want of Cognitively Defined Propositions: A History of Insights and Lost Philosophical Opportunities 71 5 The Place of Willard Van Orman Quine in Analytic Philosophy (2013) 104 6 David Lewis's Place in Analytic Philosophy (forthcoming) 139 7 Kripke on Epistemic and Metaphysical Possibility: Two Routes to the Necessary A Posteriori (2011) 167 PART TWO Historical Problems and Controversies 8 What Is the Frege/Russell Analysis of Quantification? 191 9 No Class: Russell on Contextual Definition and the Elimination of Sets (2008) 200 10 Ontology, Analyticity, and Meaning: The Quine-Carnap Dispute (2009) 207 PART THREE Current Topics 11 Two Versions of Millianism (2012) 231 12 What Are Natural Kinds? (2007) 265 13 Vagueness and the Law (2012) 281 14 Toward a Theory of Legal Interpretation (2012) 299 15 Deferentialism: A Post-Originalist Theory of Legal Interpretation (2013) 321 Index 343
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Review quote

"[T]he book offers a good overview of the most important problems and controversies of analytic philosophy, especially those related to philosophy of language. One will also appreciate the author's constant effort to propose critical remarks and to consider contemporary debates... Soames ... provides us with a stimulating volume for those generally interested by the history and actuality of the analytic tradition."--Alexandre Declos, Metapsychology Online Reviews
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About Scott Soames

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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