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date: 21 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

There is a recurrent opposition within analytic philosophy between those who put forward metaphysical views and those who oppose all metaphysics, in some cases dismissing it as nonsensical. Among those who employ the tools of modern (post-Fregean) logic, and related conceptions of philosophical analysis, some have sought to use them to discover the true nature of reality; others to use them to banish the idea that there is such a thing to be discovered. In the case of two central figures in early analytic philosophy—Frege and Wittgenstein—recent commentators differ as to whether we should read them as metaphysical or anti-metaphysical. This chapter explores metaphysical uses of the idea of a logically perfect language, along with analogous ideas. First, it discusses anti-metaphysical uses of the idea and, first of all, the disputed cases. It then looks at Russell’s idea of a logically perfect language, the views of Carnap and Quine, and post-Quinean metaphysics.

Keywords: analytic philosophy, Russell, metaphysics, Frege, Wittgenstein, logically perfect language, Carnap, Quine

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