Tradition and revolution in the rhetoric of analytic philosophy

Philosophy and Literature 34 (1):pp. 161-172 (2010)
It is an unsurprising but unfortunate fact that the history of twentieth-century British philosophy has been almost entirely written by British philosophers themselves. The account produced by philosophers such as G. J. Warnock, Gilbert Ryle, and A. J. Ayer, like all histories written by the winners of disciplinary struggles, amounts to a "Whig narrative" emphasizing the triumph of analytic philosophy over outdated, misguided idealist philosophy—a movement from error to truth. British philosophers built this Whig narrative around a justification of their discipline that they frequently advanced between the 1930s and 1960s. This justification was forward-looking: it emphasized the "revolutionary" break between ..
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