The analytic and the synthetic as linguistic topics

Topoi 4 (2):193-199 (1985)
The Analytic/Synthetic distinction did not originate in Kant, but in Port-Royal's logical theory. The key for the doctrine is the explicite recognition of two different kinds of relative clauses, e.g. explicative and determinative. In the middle eighteenth century the distinction becomes a topic within the grammars. Although we can find by grammarians different criteria for the distinction, these criteria (for which we can find medieval sources) are for the main predictable from the original theory of ideas, which was presented in Port-Royal's logical writings. The topic of the two relative clauses (somewhat broader than the analytic/synthetic distinction) can be used to give empirical criteria for analyticity and also for revisiting Quine's criticism of the topic. Analyticity yet appears as a master piece of classical linguistic philosophy and not as being the empty dogma of modern empiricism.
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DOI 10.1007/BF00135848
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From a Logical Point of View.W. V. Quine - 1953 - Harvard University Press.
Judgment and Proposition: From Descartes to Kant.Gabriel Nuchelmans - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (3):481-483.
Goals of Linguistic Theory.Stanley Peters - 1974 - Foundations of Language 12 (2):291-295.

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