Conceptions of Analysis in Early Analytic Philosophy

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Over the last few years, within analytic philosophy as a whole, there has developed a wider concern with methodological questions, partly as a result of the increasing interest in the foundations - both historical and philosophical - of analytic philosophy, and partly due to the resurgence of metaphysics in reaction to the positivism that dominated major strands in the early analytic movement. In this paper I elucidate the key conceptions of analysis that arose during the formative years of analytic philosophy, focusing, in particular, on the debate over the nature of analysis in the early 1930s, within what was called at the time the 'Cambridge School of Analysis', and the development of Carnap's conception(s) of logical analysis during his critical phase when he was a central figure in the Vienna Circle. In the final section, with this in mind, I revisit the origins of analytic philosophy in the work of Frege, and show how the distinctions I draw can be used in diagnosing some of the tensions that are present in Frege's thought and which have given rise to controversy in the interpretation of Frege.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)97-115
Number of pages18
JournalActa Analytica
Issue number25
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

This is an author produced version of a paper published in "Acta Analytica". Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.


  • analysis
  • analytic philosophy
  • Cambridge School
  • Russell
  • Carnap
  • Frege
  • contextual definition

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