The Controversy Over the Limits of the Applicability of Logical Methods

  • Janina Kotarbinska
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 119)


The controversy which we have in mind is a family quarrel. The parties are representatives of analytic philosophy, a field which embraces all those who regard the analysis of language as the principal task, or at least one of the principal tasks, of philosophy. According to some, the subject of analysis consists of the terminology and statements of philosophy itself; for others, it consists of the terminology and statements which occur in specialized disciplines; while still others see it as including both philosophy and specialized disciplines. This difference in standpoints is not, however, essential for the controversy which is to be discussed here. The essential difference is that which is revealed in the opinions on the nature and tasks of the said analysis. The clash is between two conceptions, the reconstructionist and the descriptionist, or, in other terminology, the formalistic and the linguistic. It may be said that both take as their standard the style of analysis carried out by Russell, Carnap, and to some extent by Woodger, but for the representatives of the former approach that standard is positive, whereas for those of the latter, it is negative.


Natural Language Situational Context Logical Method Semantic Function Everyday Language 
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© PWN — Polish Scientific Publishers — Warszawa 1979

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  • Janina Kotarbinska

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