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Problems for Linguistic Solutions to the Paradox of Analysis

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G. E. Moore opined that the paradox of analysis might be avoided if it could be shown that sentences expressing conceptual analyses convey information not only about concepts, but also about the expressions they use. If so, “to be a brother is to be a male sibling” and “to be a brother is to be a brother” might express the same proposition, and yet not be identical in information value as the paradox suggests. How sentences might do this, Moore could not see. Many philosophers have pointed out an obvious way in which sentences might be said to convey information about the expressions they use. Some have suggested this information might be used to develop Moore's intuition and resolve the paradox of analysis. I argue that this approach fails. I present a version of the paradox of analysis that resists this sort of solution.

Keywords: G. E. Moore; analysis; linguistic solution; paradox of analysis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: P.O. Box 73, Stony Brook, NY 11790, USA

Publication date: 2001-07-01

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