[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
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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