Dummett and the Origins of Analytical Philosophy

Review of Metaphysics 63 (2):329-347 (2009)
Michael Dummett has argued that the linguistic turn, initiated by Frege, is the decisive moment in the birth of the analytical tradition and what distinguishes that tradition from other movements. The thesis of the paper is that Dummett’s account of the origins of the analytical tradition understates the extent to which Frege’s work, and the linguistic turn more generally, are responses to antinomies in the modern philosophical project. An adequate characterisation of the origins of the analytic tradition presupposes an account of the fundamental conceptual shift that occurred during the time of the scientific revolution and the epistemological problems that arose in conjunction with this shift. This is why it is misleading to assert, with Dummett, that the really interesting developments in terms of understanding the analytical tradition are subsequent to Frege. The most productive contrast in terms of understanding the origins of the analytical tradition is not between pre and post Fregean thought, the paper argues, but between modern and premodern conceptions of philosophy and its relation to the world of everyday experience.—Correspondence to georged@unimelb.edu.au
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632  
DOI revmetaph200963270
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