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On Quine on Philosophical Analysis

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Philosophical analysis is for Quine the replacement of a defective expression by another, sound expression, which performs the same work. In general, then, an analysis consists of two stages: (a) identifying the work that a defective expression performs, and (b) imbedding it in a safe domain. In this essay I argue that Quine’s view does not truly reflect what we do in philosophy. The problem, I think, lies in both stages (a) and (b), but stems from Quine’s assumption that we can control the work performed by language.

Keywords: Quine; definition; essence; philosophical analysis/explication

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Publication date: October 1, 2002

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