Analysis, Science, and Metaphysics

P. F. Strawson

in Philosophical Writings

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199587292
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728747 | DOI:
Analysis, Science, and Metaphysics

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This chapter examines two apparently opposed methods and compares their merits in respect of that philosophical clarification which they both hope to achieve. The first method gives rise to the programme of linguistic constructionism, the second to that of description of linguistic usage. The chapter then discusses five strands in the treatment of philosophical problems. It argues that the actual use of linguistic expressions remains the philosopher's sole and essential point of contact with the reality which he wishes to understand, conceptual reality; for this is the only point from which the actual mode of operation of concepts can be observed. If he severs this vital connection, all his ingenuity and imagination will not save him from lapses into the arid or the absurd.

Keywords: linguistic constructionism; linguistic usage; philosophical problems; conceptual reality

Chapter.  5722 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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