Analyticity again


It would be ever so nice if there were a viable analytic/synthetic distinction. Though nobody knows for sure, there would seem to be several major philosophical projects that having one would advance. For example: analytic sentences2 are supposed to have their truth values solely in virtue of the meanings (together with the syntactic arrangement) of their constituents; i.e., their truth values are supposed to supervene on their linguistic properties alone.3 So they are true in every possible world where they mean what they mean here.4 So they are necessarily true. So if there were a viable analytic/synthetic distinction (‘a/s distinction’ often hereafter), we would understand the necessity of at least some necessary truths. If, in particular, it were to turn out that the logical and/or the mathematical truths are analytic, we would understand why they are necessary. It would be ever so nice to understand why the logical and/or mathematical truths are necessary (cf. Gibson 1998; Quine 1998).



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Ernie LePore
Rutgers - New Brunswick

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