[hist-analytic] The Annals of Analysis

Roger Bishop Jones rbj at rbjones.com
Thu Jan 29 04:26:03 EST 2009


On Wednesday 28 January 2009 19:05:18 Jlsperanza at aol.com wrote:

> RBJ turns to the Moderns:
> >Leibniz claims that necessary truths can be established by analysis.
> By this time, I would assume it's the mathematical sense, as when an
> engineer student will make me lose my face by saying, "I'm currently
> attending a class in analysis". Since Leibniz is credited with the
> 'infinitesimal analysis', this may be the case. Cfr. Cartesius for his
> brilliant considerations on orthogonal geometrical projections of basic
> algebra.

I doubt this "analysis" of Leibniz's usage in this case..
This was a big topic for Leibniz because of his ideas on the lingua 
characteristica and calculus ratiocinator, which are only very remotely 
connected with his work on the differential and integral calculus.
(of course the topics are both about "calculi" and the calculus ratiocinator 
would have to encompass the other calculi since it was expected to be 

I think It is fairly clear from his writings that the kind of analysis which 
Leibniz had in mind here was logical rather than infinitesimal or 

> He goes on:
> "The origin begins with the rejection by [one] young Cambridge
> philosopher[...] G.E.Moore"

Of course, Dummet disagreed rather radically with this.

> "This lead to some of the most influential work by English speaking
> philosophers in this century, e.g. ... work by Oxford philosophers such as 
> J.L.Austin and G.Ryle."

I suspect that when I wrote this that I had not even heard of (or least 
properly registered) Grice, who I would now be inclined to rank higher than 
Austin or Ryle (Wittgenstein is incomparable).

> A footnote reads:
> >Unfortunately this little sketch of the Russellian side of
> >analytic philosophy doesn't hang together properly for me,
> --- a book that clarified things for me was Ayer, "Moore and Russell: the
> analytic heritage" (Macmillan). That man spent his life explaining Russell.
> >since I haven't found enough evidence of any systematic method in 
> > Russell's
> philosophy which
> he or anyone else could tag with this analytic label.

This is a curious footnote since in retrospect the paragraph it is attached to 
does contain a reasonable description of a kind of logical analysis, not 
however one that Russell actually employed, except perhaps in Principia.

Probably my writing of this footnote was connected with my writing a page 
on "Varieties of Philosophical Analysis"


(now linked to from the footnote)
which happened later than year.
However, looking at this analysis of analysis I see that there is omitted from 
it what I now believe to be "the method" which Russell himself thought 
crucial and passed to Carnap, viz the idea that one should systematically 
eliminate ontological excess by logical construction.
(This I am not impressed by, being motivated primarily by Occam's razor, to 
which I am a conscientious objector.
I think I must be the most radical (or only?) anti-nominalist who denies being 
a Platonist, though I suppose Carnap was as bad).

I don't think I had at that time read Hylton on Russell, from which one 
*ought* perhaps to, come away with a clear idea of what kind of analysis 
Russell advocated (though I don't think I did).


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