Category Archives: Analytic Philosophy

What is Analytic Philosophy?

Analytic philosophy also known as analytical philosophy is an early 20th century academic philosophical movement which emphasized that philosophy should apply logical techniques in order to achieve conceptual clarity. In other words the use of language to analyse philosophical problems. This philosophy was advanced by Cambridge philosophers the likes of Bertrand Russell and E. Moore. Analytic philosophy developed primarily in English speaking countries like U.S.A. and England. The main strands of analytic philosophy is both philosophy of language and logic.

Foundations of Analytic Philosophy.

The main foundations upon which analytic philosophy is based include:

1). The rejection of grand theories thereby favouring attention to detail as well as use of common sense and ordinary language against the pretentions of traditional metaphysics.

2). There is no specific philosophical truths and that the object of philosophy is the logical classification of thoughts.

3). Logical classification of thoughts can only be achieved by analysis of the logical form of philosophical propositions of philosophy.

Differentiation with Continental Philosophy

The main differentiation between the two philosophies comes from the methodology. Whereas Continental philosophy focuses on analysis or synthesis, analytic philosophy tries to solve philosophical problems mainly through analysis of thoughts and language.

Formalism and Natural Languages

As you know by now the main aim of analytic philosophical approach is to solve problems by examining and clarifying languages used to express such problems. This has led to major advances in study, recognizing the main importance of sense and reference in construction of meaning and differentiation between semantics and syntax. This was advanced by Bertrand Russell in the theory of definite descriptions.

Analytic philosophy and Ordinary language

Analytic traditions always seek to analyze the natural language often called the ordinary language spoken by the people example French, German or English. Rather than viewing a philosophical problem through a lens of formal logic, ordinary language philosophy tries to use ordinary linguistic terms to solve such philosophical problems.  Here is a closer look.

Logic atomism

Analytic philosophy centers around advancement of predicate logic. This has permitted sentences to be parsed into logical forms. Bertrand Russell adopted this philosophical tool as he sort to set clear distinctions in the different use of deferent words in various sentences.

Ethics in Analytic philosophy

In relation to its early advancement, philosophy had no set standards that governed it. Most always claimed that works brought forward were merely personal attitudes towards the given matter. In the later years people adopted the universal perspectivism which led to new interests thise philosophy governing ethics.