On the Analytic and the Synthetic

  • Shih-Chao Liu
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 141)


In a pair of articles,1 Professors White and Quine have enumerated eight definitions of the term ‘analytic’ and after giving consideration to each, they assert that all these definitions are inadequate. Professor Quine even considers the sharp distinction between analytic and synthetic statements an unfounded dogma. But after these articles, there appeared successively three articles2 by other authors, all of which showed different opinions and tried to do justice to the term ‘analytic’. Two of them were written by R. M. Martin and John G. Kemeny. Both authors restricted their attention to the definition: “A sentence is analytic if and only if it can be reduced to a logical truth by definition.” Both argued persuasively in its support, and I concur in their opinion.


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  1. 2.
    Benson Mates, ‘Analytic Sentences ’ ,Philosophical Review LX (1951) 525–34,CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2a.
    R. M. Martin, ‘On Analytic ’ ,Philosophical Studies III (1952) 42–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 2b.
    John G. Kemeny, Review of Quine’s Two Dogmas of Empiricism’, Journal of Symbolic Logic (1952).Google Scholar

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

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  • Shih-Chao Liu

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