[hist-analytic] The analytic/postanalytic distinction

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Feb 7 21:12:05 EST 2009

Before I forget! Some remarks on 'post-analytic'. My previous post,  
commenting on O. Doctorow, was not perhaps clear. I meant to say that in French  (also 
Italian) -- but, not really in English (as OED testifies), 'analitico' (to  
stick to Italian) can be used 'substantivized', as it were: e.g. -- some  hits:

"Ci troviamo, dunque, di fronte non a un filosofo "post-analitico",  o a un 
analitico pentito e in fase di autocritica". This is an interesting one.  A 
'repented analytic (philosopher) going self-critical'. That is perhaps one  
non-charitable way of reading Grice. A more charitable view would be that  
philosophers like Grice did not cease to be 'analytic', even if they ceased  being 
'too formal' (In Grice's case, he confesses when Putnam -- "of all people"  
complained to Grice that he found him thus. 
Another Italian hit (_www.swif.uniba.it/lei/rassegna/010605d.htm_ 
(http://www.swif.uniba.it/lei/rassegna/010605d.htm) )  refers to Rorty who "considera 
Rawls un filosofo post-analitico o anche non  analitico." 

guide.supereva.it/giallo_e_noir/interventi/2004/09/177478.shtml refers to  
Dupin as being "un analitico"

www.swif.uniba.it/lei/rassegna/010311c.htm seems to complain that while  
Marino Gentile is described as "un continentale", MacIntyre is being described  as 
"un analitico". 

pantera90.blogspot.com/2008/10/un-oceano-di-folla.html is looking for  people 
interested in philosophy, "almeno se e un analitico". 

There's also a description of "DFW è un analitico (wittgenstein) che  però si 
diverte a complicarsi la vita e ha il gusto del paradosso"  

(http://www.portalefilosofia.com/materiali/pozzoni1.php)   refers to Calderoni as "un analitico mancato" 

While finally, www.ledonline.it/lededizioniallegati/mancuso365.pdf  describes 
Liebmann as "un analitico piu misurato" than Eucken, who's more of a  
There is only _one_ relevant hit in the OED, so far, for 'post-analytical  
philosophy', from the "American Journal of International Law" (vol. 93 (1999),  
p. 355), by an author who defines himself as having become attached to French  
structuralism!  ("n search 

I was trying to find something substantial on 'analytic' philosophy  versus 
postanalytic, and came across a description of a website by Keith  
Burgess-Jackson, who describes himself as providing "analytic philosophy (and  other 
stuff) in the an*l-retentive tradition!". Anyway, revising the OED I note  the 
following definition of 'analytic philosophy' whose author I still have to  check. 
"Analytic philosophy consists at least partly, in replacing a concept, or  a 
set of concepts, by another concept, or set of concepts." (Mind, 1948 LVII, p. 
 292).  The first quote that the OED chose to refer to 'analytic  philosophy' 
is from E. Nagel  in JP 33 (1936) 5, viz.  "Impressions and Appraisals of 
Analytic Philosophy in Europe" where he claims,  "Analytic philosophy is 
ethically neutral formally."

And now to compare  this to O. Doctorow's comments, when he writes:
"whether you prefer to divide or to subtract numbers will literally  
respectively separate you into almost physically fighting schools (conditional  
probability versus my school of Probable Causation/Influence (PI)).  The  former 
school is so powerful that they tend to utterly refuse to publish  anything by 
the latter school"
And there's also the 'institutional' side to it. I have been to  universities 
where 'analytic' is _not_ in, and to others where 'non-analytic' is  not in. 
In most cases, I've been to universities where nobody gives a fig!  Professors 
(usually tenured) are locked in their office rooms and they hardly  interact 
with others, even if both of them are analytic -- or perhaps  _precisely_!
In terms of 'raw evidence' and degenerate research programmes, there is of  
course an interface. Who the list is of the PhD committee may define whether  
your dissertation gets accepted for _sotto voce_ or not! (I was happy mine  
When I look back, I guess I chose the 'analytic' style just to tease my  
professors, continental, and rather too traditional for my test. I'm glad I'm  not 
an anglo, for as things are, being pretty 'paradoxical' I would have become  
a total Diltheian in a truly 'analytic' university!
When it comes to more serious stuff as to how an article is written 'in the  
analytic' vein... why is it that it can be tedious enough to have _created_ 
its  own enemy, postanalytic philosophy?
Critiques to analytical philosophy by 'post-analytics':
---- restricted narrowness of what a philosophical problem is.
---- restricted view of what 'philosophical method' amounts to: 'conceptual  
analysis in terms of other concepts'.
---- meta-neutral considerations. Post-analytics want to 'commit'  themselves.
---- myopy. Some good post-analytic philosophers are pretty conversant in  
_both_ analytic philosophy *and* continental philosophy and they can make useful 
 comparisons, if you are in the mood for them.

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