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Durham e-Theses
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An examination of the analytic/synthetic distinction with special reference to W.V.O. Quine

Bashier, Zakaria (1969) An examination of the analytic/synthetic distinction with special reference to W.V.O. Quine. Masters thesis, Durham University.



The thesis takes a fresh look at the Analytic/Synthetic distinction and tries to assess the force of the attack launched against it by Quine, While, Waismann and others. First a brief history of the distinction is given, which traces it to its origins in the writings of Leibniz and Kant. The use and scope of the distinction in contemporary analytic philosophy is explained and criticized, and the part played by Wittgenstein's Tractatus is examined, Quine's views on the distinction are stated and discussed at some length. They are given a special attention; because they are seen to pose a profound challenge to the way in which the distinction is normally drawn and employed in modern philosophy. The debate between Quine and his opponents over the distinction is stated and assessed, and the opinion put forward that Quine's main contentions are not refuted by their answer. The related topic of the admissibility of intensional concepts is introduced. The disagreement of Quine with other philosophers concerning the nature of logical truth is considered. The opinions of Quine about the respective roles of experience and convention are contrasted with those of his opponents. Quine's suggested 'canonical notation' as a replacement of intensional language is briefly stated and discussed. The debatable character of some of Quine's contentions here does not crucially affect the essential part of his thesis about the graduation of analyticity. The writer sympathizes with Quine. However, the issue is still very much an open one in spite of the fact that Quine's views are not favourably received by the majority of philosophers.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Letters
Thesis Date:1969
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:14 Mar 2014 16:27

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