• god must be atheist
    2.1k
    It’s literally one click to fix anything you break, and if you stick around to talk to the people who revert it, you’ll probably stand a good chance of making improvements. “Be bold” is literally the first step of the normal wiki process (followed by reversion and discussion if there are any problems with your bold moves).Pfhorrest

    I am fearless when it comes to words and standing behind what I say, (fistfights, streetfights, jail cells, and employee positions in a bank are a completely different matter), but I haven't the slightest clue what analytic philosophy means, and what continental philosophy means. I asked once, I think it was on this site, and I got a short answer: "(...two pages of incomprehensible lingo, peppered with 300000 pages of recommended reading...)" So I gave up on the idea of ever getting to know the meanings in the short time that's left for me on this globe.

    I pass the torch to someone else. 3017Amen? or Qwibbjizz. Whoever.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    Analytic philosophy is just industrialized thinking. Robots will do it better in a few years.
    — Pneumenon

    Perhaps the same will be said of mathematics. There's a crew working indirectly on that project on this very forum
    jgill

    Music composition, sex, and pan cake mixes are just around the corner, too. Robots will have a much better sex life than humans could ever dream of. "I have a wet dream" is my motto for the future Robotlings.
  • Moliere
    1.7k


    well -- here's an attempt at replacing the whole first paragraph into something succinct. Then move the bullet points down below to different features, maybe. Tried to cut out the compare/contrast type stuff because I generally don't think there's a distinction to be made between analytic/continental/existential/marxist/whatever. They're just historical categories.

    I signed up for an account to edit, but the editing portal was... intimidating. lol

    Analytic philosophy is a tradition of philosophy that began around the turn of the 20th century and continues to today. Like any philosophical tradition it includes many conflicting thinkers in a broad umbrella with its own particular lineage and history and so is resistant to a clean-cut summary. Some aspects generally found are a fascination with modern scientific practices, an attempt to focus philosophical reflection on smaller problems that lead to answers to bigger questions, and valuing clarity and rigor in one's philosophical thoughts and arguments.
  • Banno
    7.8k
    Please put the post above in the Talk page or better, just Be Bold and paste your new intro in to the beginning. I will follow up your edits with a few of my own, as backup; Yours a better start than is there now.

    If I have time in a while I will move on the dot points.
  • csalisbury
    2.3k
    @BannoI suppose a good intro would contextualize everything. . Frege, I'm told, is foundational. But Wittgenstein plunks down in the middle like a roswell ufo. I don't know AP that well, but I know he had an eerie effect on the field. Certainly, it would flatter the AP crowd to see their tradition wrapped in solemn logic garb, in contrast to Continental hysterics. And that would be true, except for Wittgenstein - if only he didn't have the otherworldly charismatic effect he did, and he did. Rigor & reflection are good, but get out of town if you don't think kant was rigorous and reflective. What characterizes AP, in my opinion, is a pronounced caution, which is ballasted with cocktail wit, chessboard wit. You can *smell* the university in Quine & even Kripke. Davidson & Sellars, lost in drink, protest, but quietly. It's new scholasticism in its soul of souls. Look at Lewis.

    Sellars is a special exception for me. if anyone does anything on wiki about AP, make Sellars the major saint.
  • 3017amen
    1.6k
    I pass the torch to someone else. 3017Amen? or Qwibbjizz. Whoever.god must be atheist



    Perhaps another or easier (at least for me) way of looking at it would be through lens of the movement known as Logical Positivism. This Analytical approach seems to think in terms of either/or. Either tautological/mathematical truths exist, or synthetic contingent truths exist. But not both together.

    IMO, although a lot of what philosophy does in expressing truth is through the logic of language (what we do on this forum, books, etc. which is fine) there are other ancient/existential/postmodern/Continental-Kantian things like cognitive intuition, phenomenology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and other cognitive phenomena for which Analytical/Logical Positivists deny (including contradictions and paradox).. To me, the Analytical approach would be to deny any real existential import or angst or emotion, etc. relative to figuring out the human condition and why we exist.

    Thus, Analytical/Logical Positivists would default to dichotomization of truth's being either a priori or a posterior, but not both. A Positivist would deny the synthetic a priori (all events must have a cause) judgement in exploring truth. They think that either mathematical truth's exist (and tautological necessary truth's exist), or empirical contingent truth's exist. But not existential phenomena associated with living life and the sentient human condition (why we wonder about things, care about things like Love, the Will, and other metaphysical/psychological wants and needs, etc.).

    Scroll down to 'Analytic/Synthetic gap and Cognitive Meaningfulness: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_positivism

    I hope some of that helps. Again, all this is just my interpretation, so I could stand corrected. And, as it relates to Analytical/Continental Philosophy/Post Modernism, I've posted this amusing video before:

  • Ciceronianus the White
    976
    Well, I'm no philosopher, as has been noted now and then--merely an adroit, vastly experienced and knowledgeable lawyer. But analytic philosophy is, to me, the philosophy I was taught in the halcyon days of my youth, which, thankfully, was not logical atomism or positivism. I would say it was, and maybe still is, a form of Quietism, a kind of tonic or vaccine to the more lunatic caperings of philosophers throughout history. I think of J.L. Austin, Gilbert Ryle, the later Wittgenstein, and what's been called the Oxford School of philosophy.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.2k
    But not existential phenomena associated with living life and the sentient human condition (why we wonder about things, care about things like Love, the Will, and other metaphysical/psychological wants and needs, etc.).3017amen

    Good points. Even though, it's anachronistic (because he lived before the distinction of analytic/continental), Schopenhauer would be a great model for (good) continental philosophy. He sets out a large overarching premise about life/universe (the world is Will and Representation), and then builds a system, step-by-step, using mainly Kantian distinctions of phenomena and noumena, to explicate how the world can be subjective and objective. This would probably not fly in analytic circles. Would you be able to explain perhaps, 3017amen, how it is analytics would object to Schopenhauer's approach? Based on what you wrote, the main thing they would object to is mixing a priori with synthetic, which is the Kant approach.
  • 3017amen
    1.6k


    Thanks Schop1.

    I like Schopenhauer, particular his metaphysical philosophy. For instance when I studied music, he was really the only 'philosopher proper' to really touch the subject matter. He acquiesced to the fact it [music]was a genuine phenomenon, affecting human cognition in a way which could not truly be explained using rational analytical methods (neither a priori or a posteriori empirical approach). Similarly, his views about the Will and/or the Metaphysical Will in Nature was revealing and something beyond rational explanation.

    My short answer to your most intriguing question about how Analytics' would try to explain, say, the Will, would be some euphemistic denial including most likely an extraneous exposition that at best, would indeed result in the need to transcend such nonsense via the infamous Kantian escape from that 'dogmatic slumber'.

    To posit the obvious, once again, I would have to argue that dichotomizing a priori and a posteriori kinds of truth's through Analytical philosophy (Logical Positivism), represents yet another dangerous paradigm to overcome. Kant saw that of course. He saw the need to go beyond and transcend causation, as a normal human response to the existential human condition. Call him a sensitive, intuitive, self-aware man, I don't know... .

    At the end of the day, I really don't know how the Analytical philosopher would try to circumvent the obvious. Being an existentialist myself, I would have to default to cognitive science/ Maslow here: 'What you are not, you cannot perceive to understand; it cannot communicate itself to you.'

    I would love to hear from other's....or perhaps you might could elucidate some... .
  • schopenhauer1
    4.2k
    I would love to hear from other's....or perhaps you might could elucidate some... .3017amen

    Perhaps the analytics would say that Schop has to define "Will" more precisely. They would not let him get away with making his own definition. Rather, they would want the theory to be tied to some empirically verifiable psychological one. Thus, they would probably find an appropriate model in psychology that corresponds to Schop's Will and use that as a jumping off point to explain Will. Then they would use perhaps counterexamples of other psychological theories and show how those would not work. However, I think most would simply not make a jump to posit Will as a force beyond psychology as that would be a category error perhaps. Overall, they would find the claims too speculative. Making leaps from human subjective viewpoint to the whole world.
  • Moliere
    1.7k
    Dooo eeeeet.

    One thing I think I'd stand by is saying that while rigor and clarity are defining features of analytic philosophy -- even values commonly agreed upon -- that doesn't mean that these values are exclusively analytical, just definitive for analytic philosophers.

    The page is kinda a spaghetti mess and I'm trying to untangle it bit-by-bit as I go about all my things in life, but I was going with the approach that analytic philosophy can be characterized without reference to other traditions since I don't think there's a good distinction to be made between the usual suspects -- i.e. continental or existential, etc.
  • Banno
    7.8k
    Certainly shows how analytic philosophy can be charactured.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.2k

    Perhaps you can elucidate your own views. You seem to not put any positive statements about analytic philosophy, thus shooting others down from the back row. You can't ask others to do something and not participate yourself. I think 3017amen had some correct understanding of early analytic philosophy. Perhaps then, there is no analytic philosophy then. I myself, have given three defining features in a previous post, but no one really made a comment on it one way or another.
  • Banno
    7.8k
    It's what I do.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.2k
    It's what I do.Banno

    Yes I've noticed. One thing I disagree with you on is that it can be hermetically sealed as something that does not need to be in distinction with other forms of philosophy. If there is analytic philosophy, then it would be revealing what is NOT analytic philosophy or what other schools of philosophy would look like in comparison. Otherwise, anything can be considered analytic philosophy. By that I mean nothing can be considered analytic philosophy either. You need some distinction there with other methods to compare it to.
  • Banno
    7.8k
    there are other ancient/existential/postmodern/Continental-Kantian things like cognitive intuition, phenomenology, metaphysics, ethics, aesthetics, and other cognitive phenomena for which Analytical/Logical Positivists deny (including contradictions and paradox).. To me, the Analytical approach would be to deny any real existential import or angst or emotion,3017amen

    That's demonstrable bullshit; Read history of philosophy.
  • Banno
    7.8k
    it can be hermetically sealed as something that does not need to be in distinction with other forms of philosophy.schopenhauer1

    I don't agree. It's a style that overlaps other approaches to philosophy.

    Please don't make stuff up about me.
  • schopenhauer1
    4.2k
    I don't agree. It's a style that overlaps other approaches to philosophy.

    Please don't make stuff up about me.
    Banno

    I'm not making stuff up. You said earlier that you didn't like it in comparison with other methods/schools earlier. I am saying to make the distinctions clear, it is good to compare and contrast with other methods.

    If it's a style, what makes it distinct? What would NOT be that style? I can replace analytic with any synonym at this point- vague vs. precise (analytic) philosophy. But that is a shallow understanding of analytic philosophy if it isn't just a synonym for "whatever I find to be exacting and precise logical thinking". I have outlined three basic things that I think analytic philosophy takes into account. You can see my previous post if you'd like to discuss that. Otherwise, your vague answers to the question, don't seem to move the dialogue forward as to what analytic philosophy is.
  • Banno
    7.8k
    Not interested. My dance card is full.
  • 3017amen
    1.6k
    I myself, have given three defining features in a previous post, but no one really made a comment on it one way or another.schopenhauer1


    For the most part I agree with Schop1 analysis from that previous post.

    As an existentialist I try very hard to be conscious of dichotomization. And in the context of analytical philosophers and logical positivism, I don't take the approach as an exercise or need to renounce the
    lower
    in order to become
    higher
    . In other words I don't repudiate analytical philosophy on an exclusive basis. It's just another tool as it were.

    I think LP showed how practicing philosophy is a process. Unlike many other domains and processes, they generally all, have their limitations and proper contextual usage. It taught me that one must first analyze the question in order to discover what it means. And to discover what a question means is identical with discovering how one should go about answering it. That's at least one thing LP taught us.

    However, examples of the glaring limitations relating to analytic's, would be statements such as:

    1. We can never know the true nature of existence or being.
    2. I can never know that you have a mind.
    3. No men are free, but everyone is determined by his past.
    4. Human beings are never satisfied.
    5. Why do I behave like I do. My mind says one thing; my will says another.
    6. All events must have a cause

    Since those statements/ questions and their truth value cannot be empirically verified or calculated and deduced through formal analysis/logic, they are nonsensical to the LP/ analytical philosopher. And that of course raises at least one argument for its limited usage. It can't explain the nature of our existence, let alone our conscious existence.
  • StreetlightX
    5.3k
    A part of me very wants to strongly characterize analytic philosophy as a long, enduring attempt - still ongoing - to come to grips with its own stillbirth. I don't intend to mean this harshly, but there's a sense in which AP was a kind of promise - held out by Frege and Russell in particular - that philosophy could be conducted in a new key, characterized particularly with the tools of a mathematicized logic, with clear and unambiguous foundations that all could agree on and which could then be subsequently built upon - not unlike a species of science. Hence 'analytic', the attempt to break things down in a process of 'analysis' (as distinct form synthesis), out of which a progressive edifice could be built.

    And then in a wonderful (or terrible) stroke of irony, it was Russell who pretty much blew up that project almost as soon as it began by dismantling Frege's Basic Law V ('Russell's paradox'), and putting the whole thing into question. I almost want to say that analytic philosophy since then has been a kind of rear-guard action - a fantastically creative, interesting and, wide-ranging one - to hold true to the promise of what 'analytic philosophy' was meant to be while at the same time having been almost completely deprived of the means to do so, settling instead for a variegated patchwork of linguistic and logical analysis without any of it vying for the 'foundational' status that underlay the hopes of Frege and Russell.

    (Quine tries to get around this by offshoring the foundational stuff to science - his 'naturalism' - insulating philosophy from the pressure of having to provide those foundations from 'within'; likewise the OLP crew who instead substituted out logic and science for 'ordinary language').

    On this score, analytic philosophy had a brief existence after which it winked out spectacularly, and everything else is picking up the pieces. Of course calling analytic philosophy a rearguard action on a stillbirth won't quite make for good wiki material, but there you go. Alternatively, a nicer way to put it is that all of what currently travels under the name 'analytic philosophy' is already post-analytic philosophy.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    976
    It's interesting that those responding to Banno's question seem to treat analytic philosophy as limited to logical positivism, perhaps with Russell thrown in for good measure. Wherefore?
  • 3017amen
    1.6k


    Hey CtW!

    Just to speak for myself, I only argued through the lens of LP because it was an intriguing comparison to other analytical approaches. For instance another distinction could be simple deductive reasoning ( a priori ) vs. Inductive reasoning (a posteriori). Or perhaps Modus Tollens ( not quite as analytical, from a ' formal logic ' point of view), or anything that Kant critiqued more or less... .

    What are you thinking?
  • Ciceronianus the White
    976

    Only that philosophers within the analytic tradition like Austin, the later Wittgenstein, Wisdom and Strawson were, I think, very different from Russell and the logical positivists. They didn't think it necessary to formulate an idea language, nor did they think that metaphysics was nonsense, for example.

    I think it's fair to say that generally, they thought ordinary language was quite sufficient, and that many of the traditional problems of philosophy were the result of the misuse of ordinary language. In that sense they were critical of philosophical claims and theories. I think they agreed that a particular method--involving a careful analysis of the use of language--was essential to addressing philosophical problems and claims, and felt that many of those problems would dissolve under close analysis. Wittgenstein spoke of philosophy as the process of showing the fly the way out of the fly bottle, and freeing ourselves from the bewitchment of language, or words to that effect.

    It's a point of view which probably didn't strike "continental philosophers" as anymore sympathetic or agreeable than logical positivism, but it is different, and I think it must be taken into account in considering the question "what is analytic philosophy?"
  • Gregory
    969
    This is the music of analytical philosophy and logicism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7kvGqiJC4g

    Mozart is, idn, Newtonian calculus??.
  • csalisbury
    2.3k
    Dooo eeeeet.

    One thing I think I'd stand by is saying that while rigor and clarity are defining features of analytic philosophy -- even values commonly agreed upon -- that doesn't mean that these values are exclusively analytical, just definitive for analytic philosophers.

    The page is kinda a spaghetti mess and I'm trying to untangle it bit-by-bit as I go about all my things in life, but I was going with the approach that analytic philosophy can be characterized without reference to other traditions since I don't think there's a good distinction to be made between the usual suspects -- i.e. continental or existential, etc.
    Moliere

    A wiki project would be a lot of fun- but I just plum don't have enough expertise in this area to offer any edits (my previous post was unadulterated late-night bluster.) I agree with the rest of what you've said. for sure.
  • god must be atheist
    2.1k
    I also agree with everyone who has contributed to this thread.
  • Banno
    7.8k


    Here's the first paragraph from the history section:
    British idealism, as taught by philosophers such as F.H. Bradley (1846–1924) and Thomas Hill Green (1836–1882), dominated English philosophy in the late 19th century. With reference to this intellectual basis the initiators of analytic philosophy, G.E. Moore and Bertrand Russell, articulated early analytic philosophy.

    You do not need to be an expert on Analytic Philosophy to improve on that second sentence!

    Go on, have a go!
  • Ciceronianus the White
    976


    Reminds me of this gem:. "Backwards ran the sentences until reeled the mind."
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