Analytic Philosophy in America

Scott Soames

in The Oxford Handbook of American Philosophy

Published in print September 2008 | ISBN: 9780199219315
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Analytic Philosophy in America

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  • History of Western Philosophy



In understanding the transition to the analytic period in America, it is important to remember that analytic philosophy is neither a fixed body of substantive doctrine, a precise methodology, nor a radical break with most traditional philosophy of the past—save for varieties of romanticism, theism, and absolute idealism. Instead, it is a discrete historical tradition stemming from Frege, Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein, and the logical positivists, characterized by respect for science and common sense, belief in the relevance of logic and language for philosophy, emphasis on precision and clarity of argumentation, suspicion of a priori metaphysics, and elevation of the goals of truth and knowledge over inspiration, moral uplift, and spiritual comfort—plus a dose of professional specialization.

Keywords: American philosophy; analytic philosophy; romanticism; theism; absolute idealism; logical positivists

Article.  13055 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy

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