Waismann: From Wittgenstein's Tafelrunde to His Writings on Analyticity

In Dejan Makovec & Stewart Shapiro (eds.), Friedrich Waismann: The Open Texture of Analytic Philosophy. pp. 131--158 (2019)

Gregory Lavers
Concordia University
Gregory Lavers gives us a timeline of Waismann’s career, an overview of Waismann’s most significant publications in this later period and a detailed walkthrough from the first to the last paper of Waismann’s series on analyticity, “Analytic - Synthetic”. Lavers closes his paper with comparisons of Waismann and Quine as well as Waismann and Carnap. Both Waismann and Quine argue that the concept of analyticity is vague and both reject reductionism. However, behind these superficial similarities we find fundamentally different epistemologies. According to Lavers, the web of inferential relations, spanning from every experience to any item of scientific knowledge, that supports the outlook suggested by Quine, is rejected as manifestly wrong by Waismann. Conversely, Lavers shows that despite superficial contrasts between Waismann and Carnap—Waismann being interested in the subtleties of natural language, Carnap in replacing these through explication—the two do not really oppose each other’s’ views on analyticity and necessary truth.
Keywords Waismann   Wittgenstein   Carnap   Quine   20th Century Analytic Philosophy
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