analytic philosophy

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The philosophy that takes the process of analysis to be central to philosophical method and progress. The common idea of analytical philosophers was that the surface form of a language may conceal hidden logical structure, and may mislead us as to that structure. This could be revealed by a process that would itself solve philosophical problems, or alternatively show them to be the offspring of the delusive surface forms of ordinary language. Confidence in the method of analysis was fostered by the early successes of Frege and Russell in reducing mathematics to logic, and by the insights afforded by the theory of definite descriptions. The practitioners of analytical philosophy also included Moore, and Carnap. For reasons why the initial confidence faltered, see analysis.

Subjects: Philosophy.

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