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date: 20 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

During the 1930s the young philosophers who founded the new journal Analysis and thought of themselves as ‘analytic philosophers’ often referred back to earlier writings by G. E. Moore as the inspiration for their way of doing philosophy. And indeed in Principia Ethica Moore had emphasized the importance of ‘the work of analysis and distinction’ in ethics, and when discussing perception he had written about the correct analysis of judgements such as ‘This is a hand’, so that when asked to identify his particular approach to philosophy he had picked out the importance he attached to providing ‘the correct analysis’ of such propositions. Moore’s emphasis on analysis was characteristic of the approach to philosophy developed in Cambridge during the early years of the twentieth century by himself, along with Russell and Wittgenstein. Although there were significant differences between the kinds of analysis each favoured, they inspired many younger philosophers to think of analysis as central to philosophy. By the end of the 1930s this ‘Cambridge School of Analysis’ was fragmenting, with some emphasizing the importance of the analysis of ordinary language and others turning to the natural sciences for inspiration. But the emphasis on analysis, of some kind, remained.

Keywords: analysis, sense-datum, propositions, paradox of analysis, open question argument, Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein, Wisdom

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