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date: 17 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Analytic philosophy arose in the early decades of the twentieth century, with Bertrand Russell and G. E. Moore leading the way. Although some accounts emphasize the role of logic and language in the origin of analytic philosophy, of equal importance is the theme of perception, sense-data, and knowledge, which dominated systematic philosophical discussion in the first two decades of the twentieth century in both Britain and America. This chapter examines work on perception and sense-data as well as the external world in the analytic tradition in the first half of the twentieth century. After sketching the situation before and just after 1900, it turns to Moore, Russell, and their interlocutors in the teens and twenties, addresses the American scene, looks to subsequent developments in the 1930s and beyond, and finally considers the fates of sense-data and the ‘given’ and of the topic of perception more generally.

Keywords: analytic philosophy, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, perception, sense-data, external world, American philosophy, knowledge

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