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' hard-won 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.
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".
Acknowledgments xi Introduction to Volume 2 xiii PART ONE: 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 TWO: 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 THREE: 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 FOUR: 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 FIVE: 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 SIX: 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 SEVEN: 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