Implicit Thoughts: Quine, Frege and Kant on Analytic Propositions

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Abstract:

Quine criticised the semantic notion of analyticity that is often attributed to Frege and Kant for presupposing an essentialist theory of meaning. In what follows I trace back the notion from Quine via Carnap to Frege and Kant, and eventually examine Kant's distinction between analytic and synthetic judgements in more detail. It turns out that the so called Frege-Kant-notion of analyticity can not be attributed to Kant. In contrast, Kant had a distinctly pragmatic notion of analytic judgements. According to him analytic propositions elucidate certain presuppositions of our conceptual scheme, thereby serving the anti-metaphysical project of transcendental philosophy.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2003

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