Chapter

Logic and Metaphysics in Early Analytic Philosophy

Michael Beaney

in Categories of Being

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199890576
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980031 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890576.003.0012
Logic and Metaphysics in Early Analytic Philosophy

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The emergence of analytic philosophy has often been seen as inaugurating a linguistic turn in philosophy, a turn with anti-metaphysical implications. If we look at the work of the four founders of analytic philosophy, Frege, Russell, Moore, and Wittgenstein, we find metaphysical conceptions at the heart of their endeavours. Frege, for example, regarded numbers and the truth-values as logical objects. Russell and Moore in their early work developed a realist view of propositions. Even when Russell abandoned the metaphysics of propositions in his later work, this was replaced by a metaphysics of facts. Wittgenstein, in the Tractatus, articulated a raft of theses that seem paradigmatically metaphysical. This author outlines some of the key metaphysical conceptions of Frege, Russell, Moore, and the early Wittgenstein, and explores the connections with their logical views. It also discusses the status of the metaphysical statements that Frege and Wittgenstein, in particular, found themselves making.

Keywords: Frege; Russell; Moore; Wittgenstein; realism; propositions

Chapter.  17663 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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