Formal analyticity

Philosophical Studies 175 (11):2791-2811 (2018)

Zeynep Soysal
University of Rochester
In this paper, I introduce and defend a notion of analyticity for formal languages. I first uncover a crucial flaw in Timothy Williamson’s famous argument template against analyticity, when it is applied to sentences of formal mathematical languages. Williamson’s argument targets the popular idea that a necessary condition for analyticity is that whoever understands an analytic sentence assents to it. Williamson argues that for any given candidate analytic sentence, there can be people who understand that sentence and yet who fail to assent to it. I argue that, on the most natural understanding of the notion of assent when it is applied to sentences of formal mathematical languages, Williamson’s argument fails. Formal analyticity is the notion of analyticity that is based on this natural understanding of assent. I go on to develop the notion of formal analyticity and defend the claim that there are formally analytic sentences and rules of inference. I conclude by showing the potential payoffs of recognizing formal analyticity.
Keywords Analyticity  Formal Languages  Linguistic Understanding
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Reprint years 2019
DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0982-6
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References found in this work BETA

The Philosophy of Philosophy.Timothy Williamson - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 145 (3):455-464.
Mind, Language and Reality.H. Putnam - 1975 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 39 (2):361-362.
Analyticity Reconsidered.Paul Artin Boghossian - 1996 - Noûs 30 (3):360-391.
Blind Reasoning.Paul Boghossian - 2003 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 77 (1):225–248.
The Logic of Paradox.Graham Priest - 1979 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 8 (1):219 - 241.

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