Note on analyticity and the definability of "bachelor"

Abstract

Those who have a brief against the analytic-synthetic distinction raise problems for what seem to supporters of the distinction to be some of the clearest cases. That bachelors are unmarried seems to many to be analytically true. But to hold this seems to imply that there is a definition of "bachelor" that includes being unmarried. But critics of the analytic-synthetic distinction, such as Jerry Fodor, deny that there are true definitions (reportive, not stipulative). So there can be no definition of "bachelor". And many have noted that defining "bachelor" is not as easy as appears at first blush.

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David Cole
University of Manchester

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