Saturday, September 19, 2015

Analytical Philosophy

Philosophy consists in clarifying how language can be used.

Analytical Philosophy, also called linguistic philosophy, is a 20th-century movement in philosophy which holds that philosophy should apply logical techniques in order to attain conceptual clarity and that philosophy should be consistent with the success of modern science. For many Analytic Philosophers, language is the principal, and perhaps the only tool and philosophy consists in clarifying how language can be used.

All philosophy is analytical, including existentialism, phenomenology, etc. The usual stuff misleadingly and meaninglessly referred to as 'Continental philosophy;' but what is presumptively called 'analytic philosophy'  is usually about analyzing language with the intention of not so much solving, but dissolving philosophical problems and can itself produce some specious and superficial reasoning, which can be particularly irksome. The situation between object-language and metalanguage, between interpreter and interpreter of interpretation, is the same as the text of ethnography. But once all meaningful levels in a text, including theories and interpretations, are recognized as allegorical, it becomes difficult to view one of them as privileged, accounting for the rest.

Analytic philosophy is a wonderful, albeit antiquated, tradition. Truly modern analytics would be able to see through the hallucination of the entheogens in order to make logical deductions regarding their effects as well. The description of the relation between the canon of signs and an interpretive language which “speaks” that canon, and the description of that relationship in a third text, replicate precisely the same structural relationship. The text of theory is not situated higher in an ontological hierarchy, nor can its language be divided, as in Plato, from the specificity of its linguistic effects, allowing it to become a master language which looks down upon other languages from above.

The problem with the analytic movement has its historical root. “The question then arises whether philosophy itself is to be assimilated to the empirical or to the a priori sciences. Early empiricists assimilated it to the empirical sciences. Moreover, they were less self-reflective about the methods of philosophy than are contemporary analytic philosophers. Preoccupied with epistemology (the theory of knowledge) and the philosophy of mind, and holding those fundamental facts can be learned about these subjects from individual introspection, early empiricists took their work to be a kind of introspective psychology. Analytic philosophers in the 20th century, on the other hand, were less inclined to appeal ultimately to direct introspection. More important, the development of modern symbolic logic seemed to promise help in solving philosophical problems—and logic is as a priori as science can be. It seemed, then, that philosophy must be classified with mathematics and logic. The exact nature and proper methodology of philosophy, however, remained in dispute. (

Many scientists think that philosophy has no place, so for me it's a sad time because the role of reflection, contemplation, meditation, self-inquiry, insight, intuition, imagination, creativity, free will, is in a way not given any importance, which is the domain of philosophers. -Chopra


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