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date: 29 July 2017

Abstract and Keywords

Among those with an outdated or partial conception of analytic philosophy, the whole movement is associated with the rejection of metaphysics. But such rejection, however motivated and justified, was never the sole prerogative of analytic philosophy, nor was it ever the majority view within that movement. Early analytic philosophers engaged in metaphysics without compunction, and it was only during the ‘middle period’ of the 1930s–1950s that, under the influence of logical positivism and ordinary language philosophy, metaphysics was first rejected and later marginalized. As the new millennium dawned, however, it was clear not only that metaphysics was no longer dead, but that its resurrection as analytic metaphysics was one of the more remarkable developments in philosophy in general and in its analytic strain in particular. This chapter examines metaphysics in analytic philosophy, focusing on Gottlob Frege’s views on logical objectivity, G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell’s concept of realism, logicism and logical atomism, the rise and fall of logical positivism, ordinary language and descriptive metaphysics, and scientific language and ontological commitment.

Keywords: analytic philosophy, metaphysics, Gottlob Frege, logical objectivity, G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, realism, logicism, logical atomism, logical positivism

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