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Prolegomena to any Future History of Analytic Philosophy

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The careful historical and metaphilosophical attention recently bestowed upon analytic philosophy has revealed that traditional ways of defining it are inadequate. In the face of this inadequacy, contemporary authors have proposed new definitions that detach analytic philosophy from its turn of the twentieth century origins. I argue that this contemporary trend in defining analytic philosophy is misguided, and that it diminishes the likelihood of our coming to an accurate historical and metaphilosophical understanding of it. This is especially unsatisfactory since such understanding is essential to finding an adequate remedy for the widely perceived ills of contemporary analytic philosophy. I suggest that a more fruitful approach to developing such understanding might begin with treating the unity of analytic philosophy as illusory.

Keywords: analytic philosophy; history of analytic philosophy; philosophical schools; philosophical unity

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Malone College, Canton, USA

Publication date: 2004-07-01

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