Twentieth-century English and American philosophy has been characterized as embodying an analytic turn in philosophy. English and American analytic philosophers were united in the conviction that the best way to solve (or dissolve) classic philosophical problems is through analysis. Like many sweeping generalizations about any period in the history of philosophy, there’s probably something right and something wrong about the claim that twentieth-century philosophy embodies an analytic turn. Taking this as our cue, at the most general level, our class is concerned with understanding the role of analysis in twentieth-century philosophy. More specifically, we’ll look at some of the answers key figures of analytic philosophy in the twentieth-century philosophy give to questions like the following: What can philosophy learn about its own concepts and methodologies from the formal and natural sciences? Can philosophy be a science? What roles do formal languages and the analysis of ordinary language play in philosophy? In addition to these questions, we’ll look at others, and perhaps also consider an influential group of women philosophers who met at Oxford during World War II.
TEXT: No Textbook Required – course materials will be available on Canvas.