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Major themes in Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy include: * the innovation of mathematical logic by Gottlob Frege at the close of the nineteenth century and its independent development by Bertrand Russell; * the impact of advancements in science on the world of philosophy and its importance for understanding such doctrines as logical positivism, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and eliminative materialism; * the refusal by such thinkers as Wittgenstein, Moore, and Austin to treat logic as an ideal language superior to natural languages; and * a conjecture about which, if any, of the philosophers discussed in the book will enter the pantheon of philosophical gods. Along the way, Stroll also covers the theories of Rudolf Carnap, W. V. O. Quine, Gilbert Ryle, J. L. Austin, Hilary Putnam, Saul Kripke, John Searle, Ruth Marcus, and Patricia and Paul Churchland. Stroll's approach to his subject treats the critical movements in analytic philosophy in terms of the philosophers who defined them. The notoriously complex realm of analytic philosophy emerges less as an abstract enterprise than as a domain of personalities and their competing methods and arguments.
The book's inventive presentations of complex logical doctrines relate them to the traditional problems of philosophy, seeking the continuity between them rather than polemical distinctions so as to bring the true differences of their respective achievements into sharper focus.
Acknowledgments 1. The Solera System 2. Philosophical Logic 3. Logical Positivism and the Tractatus 4. G. E. Moore: A Ton of Bricks 5. Wittgenstein's Later Philosophy: "The Stream of Life" 6. Ryle and Austin: The Golden Age of Philosophy 7. W. V. O. Quine 8. Direct Reference Theories 9. Today and Tomorrow References Index
Avrum Stroll investigates the "family resemblances" between that impressive breed of thinkers known as analytic philosophers. In so doing, he grapples with the point and purpose of doing philosophy: What is philosophy? What are its tasks? What kind of information, illumination, and understanding is it supposed to provide if it is not one of the natural sciences?