Origins of Analytical Philosophy

ISBN: 0674644735
ISBN 13: 9780674644731
By: Michael Dummett

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About this book

For half a century analytical philosophy has dominated professional philosophy in English-speaking countries. When contrasted with Continental philosophy, analytical philosophy is often called Anglo-American. Michael Dummett argues that this is a misnomer: Anglo-Austrian would be a more accurate label, for analytical philosophy arose in the same milieu as the principal rival school of phenomenology. Furthermore, the two schools have the same roots. By reexamining the similar origins of the two traditions, we can come to understand why they later diverged so widely, and thus take the first step toward reconciliation.

Reader's Thoughts

Jared Colley

I like this book; it remains unique in comparison to other books that claim a similar project. I've read a couple other books that attempt to explain the "origins of analytic philosophy" (see Scott Soames or Herbert Hochberg), but what sets this text apart is its focus on continental origins. Both Soames & Hochberg limit their continental investigation to the philosophy of Frege while spending more time on the Cambridge school (G. E. Moore, B. Russell, early Wittgenstein...). M. Dummett expands his search to other key German & Austrian figures that most definitely contributed to the formation of the analytic tradition. Dummett not only spends time on Frege; he explores Husserl, Brentano, Meinong, Bolzano, and others as well. The Anglo-Saxon tradition, according to Dummett, really originates in certain Austrian intellectual circles of the late 19th century. Dummett's book is important and interesting for rightly stressing this point. Why is this fact largely unacknowledged? Dummett suggests the rise of Hitler as having something to do with it. Intellectual activity (along with the focus on such things) shifted (or was displaced) to the West as a result of the Third Reich. It's just another way that Nazi fascism devastated European culture and social life.This book is also useful for its commentary & explanation on the analytic/continental split....There is alot of intelligent and perceptive insight on this issue. Dummett is difficult but well worth the effort. Check it out.

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