David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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1. In his book Wittgenstein’s Place in Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy (Hacker 1996), P.M.S.Hacker set up a very sharp opposition between Wittgenstein and analytic philosophy, on the one side, and Anglo-American philosophy drawing inspiration from Quine on the other. As a way of identifying analytic philosophy, the opposition is unconvincing: Hacker rightly insists on the variety of the analytic tradition, pointing out that different notions of philosophy’s role and even different notions of analysis prevailed with different philosophers at different moments. But then, he wants to exclude Quine and other philosophers he regards as Quinean from the analytic tradition, without it being quite clear why the cleavage between Quine and the later Wittgenstein, or between Quine and Austin, should be so much wider or more crucial than the difference between, say, Austin and Russell (who are both included in the tradition). Anyway, in drawing the opposition Hacker focusses on one aspect that I would also like to concentrate upon. According to him, post-Quinean philosophy appears to be dominated by “modes of thought that emulate the forms of scientific theories, the jargon and formalization of respectable science, without the constraints of systematic data collecting, quantitative methods and experimental testing” (p.266); whereas analytic philosophy properly so called always conceived of itself as being other than science1, and the later Wittgenstein insisted that the attempt to emulate or ape natural science typically produces bad philosophy. In Hacker’s own words.
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