Analogy, Symbolism, and Linguistic Analysis

Review of Metaphysics 13 (3):447 - 468 (1960)
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If the figure of philosophical sandhogs is appropriately descriptive of this recent work, still one must recognize the manner in which modern philosophers are working away in different caissons; the workers differ in judgment concerning what is hardpan and what bedrock; while some believe only hardpan confronts us all the way down, a philosophic version of the bends would seem not to be uncommon in the analogate. And it is tempting, while possibly not unfair, to think of the linguistic philosopher functioning in the equipment of the skin-diver, boldly setting off destructive charges at the foot of any piling which might be capable of furnishing support to a prospective "metaphysical edifice." Or, more modestly, one might say that whereas both Collins and Tillich are at work on the "foundations of the theory of being" Smart's enterprise, in "a spirit of higher-order neutrality," is directed toward the linguistic foundations of the theory of "being'," carefully bracketed from ontological reference through a rich use of inverted commas.



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