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The form and function of analyticity : meaning holism & semantic atomism


The form and function of analyticity : meaning holism & semantic atomism

Racine, Valerie (2007) The form and function of analyticity : meaning holism & semantic atomism. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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MR34717.pdf - Accepted Version


In Howard's historical account of Einstein's break with the Vienna Circle, he attributes the rift to the latter's retention of the analytic-synthetic distinction, while Einstein proposed a holist understanding of meaning. The assumed premise of the author's argument is that the A/S distinction must necessarily entail atomism. In a comment on Howard's historical portrayal, Oberdan questions the soundness of this premise by suggesting that the development of Carnap's epistemological project shows otherwise, i.e., the A/S distinction can be compatible with holism. However, Fodor and Lepore break down the implications of Quine's arguments to show that confirmation holism does not entail meaning holism. Thus, Carnap's later modification of the received view could be clarified by Fodor and Lepore's arguments in the following way; Carnap kept the A/S distinction, proposed confirmation holism and semantic atomism. This interpretation can be considered to provide an adequate, yet weak, defence of Oberdan's claim that the A/S distinction can be accommodated by a holist position. An alternative way to show how the A/S distinction can be compatible with holism is to re-interpret analyticity; to prioritize the function of analytical judgments over their logical form. This understanding suggests a Wittgensteinian interpretation of analyticity in which analytic statements are grammatical propositions within a given language-game that allow us to make meaningful and valid inferences. This standpoint may lead to an understanding of analyticity that can be compatible with meaning holism.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Philosophy
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Racine, Valerie
Pagination:iv, 96 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Thesis Supervisor(s):Clarke, Murray
ID Code:975400
Deposited By: Concordia University Library
Deposited On:22 Jan 2013 16:07
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:40
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