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Rethinking Analyticity: A defence of philosophy as a conceptual discipline

Angove, James (2018) Rethinking Analyticity: A defence of philosophy as a conceptual discipline. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:66985)

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Abstract

This thesis argues that for a concept of analyticity--and an attendant analytic-synthetic distinction--to be workable, we must acknowledge its essential normative dimension. Indeed, I point out that contemporary debates surrounding so-called metaphysical and epistemic conceptions of analyticity are importantly misguided for failing to see the significance in this point: that analytic sentences express norms, not descriptions. Moreover, I argue that no sentence can--in one and the same use--function both normatively and descriptively. These thoughts are marshalled to show that the positions of Timothy Williamson and Paul Boghossian on analytic truth are jointly untenable, despite appearing to be opposite ends of a debate. In later chapters, I seek to show the positive contribution of these insights. First, I demonstrate how John McDowell's arguments against the Myth of the Given point us both toward seeing analytic truth as a precondition for empirical description and away from Robert Brandom's inferentialist understanding of conceptual content. And second, finally, I show that Mark Wilson's innovative work on conceptual change in various applied fields can complement the approach I endorse; i.e., that normativity and conceptual change interact rather than conflict.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Corfield, David
Thesis advisor: Kanterian, Edward
Uncontrolled keywords: Analyticity, analytic/synthetic normativity, language concepts, metaphilosophy, methodology, Wittgenstein, Ryle, Williamson, McDowell, Brandom, Wilson, truth
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 10 May 2018 15:10 UTC
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2022 15:50 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/66985 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Angove, James.

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