Analyticity and Implicit Definition

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Abstract:

Paul Boghossian advocates a version of the analytic theory of a priori knowledge. His defense of an "epistemic" notion of analyticity is based on an implicit definition account ofthe meaning of the logical constants. Boghossian underestimates the power of the classical Quinean criticisms, however; the challenge to substantiate the distinction between empirical and non-empirical sentences, as forcefully presented in Two Dogmas, still stands, and the regress from Truth by Convention still needs to be avoided. Here, Quine also showed that there are no implicit definers for the logical constants. Moreover, even if they existed, their epistemic analyticity would, on Boghossian's own account, be doubtful.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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