[hist-analytic] Aune's objections to Jones on the analytic (1)

Bruce Aune aune at philos.umass.edu
Sun Apr 5 08:56:13 EDT 2009

Roger attempts to defend Kant’s conception of analyticity by claiming  
that any judgment is equivalent to one of subject-predicate form.   
Thus he says:

Let  “P x <=def=> x = x

    Q x <=def=> P x /\ S

Then it is easy to see that:

     S <=> All Ps are Qs.”

An obvious problem with this proposal is that, if it is assumed, no  
judgment with a Rogerian subject satisfies Kant’s criterion for being  
analytic.  Why is this?  Because the subject term of a Rogerian  
judgment has the form of ‘= x’, whereas the predicate term of such a  
judgment always has extra information, given by ‘S’ (whatever it is)  
and the conjunction of ‘x = x’ and ‘S’ is never “contained” (as Kant  
would say) in the concept of ‘= x’. If S is a non-Rogerian subject- 
predicate judgment such as ‘All material objects are spread out in  
space,’ S may be analytic in Kant’s sense, but any other non-Rogerian  
judgment—for instance, ‘P v not-P’—will not satisfy Kant’s test even  
when expanded à la Roger.  Consequently, the standard criticism of  
Kant’s definition of analyticity—that it does not cover plausible  
examples such as ‘P v not-P’—remains unaffected by Roger’s strategy.

I want to add two points to this note.  The first is that Fred  
Sommers, who used to teach at Brandeis University (he is now retired  
from there), has long defended Aristotelian logic against the Fregean  
charge that it is inherently incapable of expressing the full range of  
assertions that Frege’s logic can express.  I am not familiar with  
Sommer’s work on this subject, but it does deserve looking into.   
Perhaps he has suggestions that might partially rehabilitate Kant.   
(Some information on Sommers’ thinking can be found at www.formalontology.it/sommersf.html 
  .)The second point is that my reluctance to continue discussing  
Roger’s proposals is owing to what I perceive as the futility of doing  
so.  Roger is extremely tenacious in defending his point of view; I  
have given, as clearly as I can, my objections to his proposals; and I  
am now tired of carrying the discussion further.  Others can take it  
up in my place.


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