Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century, Volume 2: The Age of Meaning / Edition 1

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Overview

This is a major, wide-ranging history of analytic philosophy since 1900, told by one of the tradition's leading contemporary figures. The first volume takes the story from 1900 to mid-century. The second brings the history up to date. As Scott Soames tells it, the story of analytic philosophy is one of great but uneven progress, with leading thinkers making important advances toward solving the tradition's core problems. Though no broad philosophical position ever achieved lasting dominance, Soames argues that two methodological developments have, over time, remade the philosophical landscape. These are (1) analytic philosophers' hardwon success in understanding, and distinguishing the notions of logical truth, a priori truth, and necessary truth, and (2) gradual acceptance of the idea that philosophical speculation must be grounded in sound prephilosophical thought. Though Soames views this history in a positive light, he also illustrates the difficulties, false starts, and disappointments endured along the way. As he engages with the work of his predecessors and contemporaries -- from Bertrand Russell and Ludwig Wittgenstein to Donald Davidson and Saul Kripke -- he seeks to highlight their accomplishments while also pinpointing their shortcomings, especially where their perspectives were limited by an incomplete grasp of matters that have now become clear. Soames himself has been at the center of some of the tradition's most important debates, and throughout writes with exceptional ease about its often complex ideas. His gift for clear exposition makes the history as accessible to advanced undergraduates as it will be important to scholars. Despite its centrality to philosophy in the English-speaking world, the analytic tradition in philosophy has had very few synthetic histories. This will be the benchmark against which all future accounts will be measured.
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Editorial Reviews

Journal of the History of Philosophy - A.P. Martinich
I know of no sustained philosophical work that is as clear, deep, and incisive as these two volumes. There are several other excellent books on twentieth-century analytic philosophy, but Soames's is likely to become the standard. His ability to reconstruct arguments, to fill in inchoate arguments, and to detect what may have motivated or underlain some philosopher's position is amazing. . . . These are superb volumes by a superb philosopher.
Virginia Quarterly Review - Charles T. Mathewes
The writing and the organization are admirably clear and straightforward, exhibiting many of the virtues Soames claims for the tradition as a whole. . . . It is hard to imagine another work being produced which would deliver so much solid information on this dense and difficult subject matter in such easy form.
Boston Review - Alex Byrne and Ned Hall
Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century is a marvelous introduction to analytic philosophy. The two volumes unfold as a series of studies of some of the most important and influential philosophers in the analytic tradition. . . . It is a philosopher's history of analytic philosophy, with a careful and critical assessment of ideas about truth, morality, logic, mind, and meaning.
Journal of the History of Philosophy - A. P. Martinich
I know of no sustained philosophical work that is as clear, deep, and incisive as these two volumes. There are several other excellent books on twentieth-century analytic philosophy, but Soames's is likely to become the standard. His ability to reconstruct arguments, to fill in inchoate arguments, and to detect what may have motivated or underlain some philosopher's position is amazing. . . . These are superb volumes by a superb philosopher.
Journal of the History of Philosophy
I know of no sustained philosophical work that is as clear, deep, and incisive as these two volumes. There are several other excellent books on twentieth-century analytic philosophy, but Soames's is likely to become the standard. His ability to reconstruct arguments, to fill in inchoate arguments, and to detect what may have motivated or underlain some philosopher's position is amazing. . . . These are superb volumes by a superb philosopher.
— A. P. Martinich
Virginia Quarterly Review
The writing and the organization are admirably clear and straightforward, exhibiting many of the virtues Soames claims for the tradition as a whole. . . . It is hard to imagine another work being produced which would deliver so much solid information on this dense and difficult subject matter in such easy form.
— Charles T. Mathewes
Choice
Because of its combination of sympathetic, illuminating exposition of the central doctrines and arguments of the analytic tradition and the hard-nosed critical evaluation to which they are subjected, this will surely be the standard history of analytic philosophy for many years to come.
Boston Review
Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century is a marvelous introduction to analytic philosophy. The two volumes unfold as a series of studies of some of the most important and influential philosophers in the analytic tradition. . . . It is a philosopher's history of analytic philosophy, with a careful and critical assessment of ideas about truth, morality, logic, mind, and meaning.
— Alex Byrne and Ned Hall
Boston Review
Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century is a marvelous introduction to analytic philosophy. The two volumes unfold as a series of studies of some of the most important and influential philosophers in the analytic tradition. . . . It is a philosopher's history of analytic philosophy, with a careful and critical assessment of ideas about truth, morality, logic, mind, and meaning.
— Alex Byrne and Ned Hall
From the Publisher
Winner of the 2003 Award for Best Professional/Scholarly Book in Philosophy, Association of American Publishers

"I know of no sustained philosophical work that is as clear, deep, and incisive as these two volumes. There are several other excellent books on twentieth-century analytic philosophy, but Soames's is likely to become the standard. His ability to reconstruct arguments, to fill in inchoate arguments, and to detect what may have motivated or underlain some philosopher's position is amazing. . . . These are superb volumes by a superb philosopher."—A. P. Martinich, Journal of the History of Philosophy

"The writing and the organization are admirably clear and straightforward, exhibiting many of the virtues Soames claims for the tradition as a whole. . . . It is hard to imagine another work being produced which would deliver so much solid information on this dense and difficult subject matter in such easy form."—Charles T. Mathewes, Virginia Quarterly Review

"Because of its combination of sympathetic, illuminating exposition of the central doctrines and arguments of the analytic tradition and the hard-nosed critical evaluation to which they are subjected, this will surely be the standard history of analytic philosophy for many years to come."Choice

Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century is a marvelous introduction to analytic philosophy. The two volumes unfold as a series of studies of some of the most important and influential philosophers in the analytic tradition. . . . It is a philosopher's history of analytic philosophy, with a careful and critical assessment of ideas about truth, morality, logic, mind, and meaning."—Alex Byrne and Ned Hall, Boston Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691123127
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 1/17/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 504
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Scott Soames is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. His other books include "Reference and Description" (Princeton), "Beyond Rigidity", and "Understanding Truth".
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction to Volume 2 xiii
Part 1 Ludwig Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations 1
Chapter 1 Rejection of the Tractarian Conception of Language and Analysis 3
Chapter 2 Rule Following and the Private Language Argument 32
Suggested Further Reading 62
Part 2 Classics of Ordinary Language Philosophy: Truth, Goodness, the Mind, and Analysis 65
Chapter 3 Ryle's Dilemmas 67
Chapter 4 Ryle's Concept of Mind 92
Chapter 5 Strawson's Performative Theory of Truth 115
Chapter 6 Hare's Performative Theory of Goodness 135
Suggested Further Reading 153
Part 3 More Classics of Ordinary Language Philosophy: The Response to Radical Skepticism 155
Chapter 7 Malcolm's Paradigm Case Argument 157
Chapter 8 Austin's Sense and Sensibilia 171
Suggested Further Reading 193
Part 4 Paul Grice and the End of Ordinary Language Philosophy 195
Chapter 9 Language Use and the Logic of Conversation 197
Suggested Further Reading 219
Part 5 The Philosophical Naturalism of Willard Van Orman Quine 221
Chapter 10 The Indeterminacy of Translation 223
Chapter 11 Quine's Radical Semantic Eliminativism 259
Suggested Further Reading 287
Part 6 Donald Davidson on Truth and Meaning 289
Chapter 12 Theories of Truth as Theories of Meaning 291
Chapter 13 Truth, Interpretation, and the Alleged Unintelligibility of Alternative Conceptual Schemes 312
Suggested Further Reading 331
Part 7 Saul Kripke on Naming and Necessity 333
Chapter 14 Names, Essence, and Possibility 335
Chapter 15 The Necessary Aposteriori 372
Chapter 16 The Contingent Apriori 397
Chapter 17 Natural Kind Terms and Theoretical Identification Statements 423
Suggested Further Reading 457
Epilogue: The Era of Specialization 461
Index 477
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