I wonder why analysis receives so much attention when it’s very narrow with how we experience the world. That is its focus on logical and mathematical proofs.

One reason for this focus must be its success at studying scientific and mathematical theories.

I’m wondering though. If analysis were naturalized somehow, I doubt we would still call it just analysis. If analysis were subsumed by cognitive science, decision theory, game theory, or chemistry and physics, it wouldn’t be called analysis anymore. In merely the name analysis, I suspect it aims to be somewhat unnaturalized.

Maybe also when Russell said he now saw the world as a pile of shot instead of jelly, he thought analysis was one of those immutable shots.

But thinking about how humans understand things, it seems like contradiction (which is central to analysis via law of non-contradiction, etc) can be understood purely in spatio-temporal and biological means. That is biological creatures might use a naturalized version of contradiction to help them achieve their goals. If my baby is on my back, it isn’t in the predator’s mouth. If the ant’s colony’s chemical scent is strong, it is closer to home.

These natural behaviors don’t perfectly replace analyticity, but I don’t want them to. I don’t want to have to believe in nearly platonic analysis.

But it also doesn’t seem like nearly platonic analyticity is required except to validate the world view of analytical philosophy. In a naturalized version, I still want FOL, SOL, and sophisticated understandings of math, logic, and science. But those understandings are in purely spatio-temporal grounds. In grounds of intentionality—-of meeting the desire to fly a spaceship to Mars or having a grammar to efficiently describe scientific theories. But not to be analytical or become “a shot”.

Since I (naively) suspect analysis can be made non-analytic (non-shot-like), and still be useful, why do we keep trying to preserve the shot-like separation? Don’t we gain parsimony and merely lose belief in something like platonism?

So the LNC would only be as good as our empirical knowledge and cataloguing spatiotemporal relations.

Have I jumped the gun? Is analysis and were Russell still on the quest for total understanding of all aspects of experience? I don’t think so because analysis is too narrow a term.

(This is my rudimentary understanding of analysis, analytic vs continental philosophy, Russell, etc).

  • Analysis has been naturalized by analytic philosophers, e.g. by Quine. The formula is well known, relativize logic and make it potentially revisable. However, one needs to explain why LNC has been far more stable than any piece of empirical knowledge, and Quine's "entrenchment" is not a great explanation. It is very unclear why you think that analysis is tied to platonism, nominalism accomodates it just as well through faculties or conventions, that is why logical positivists loved it as an account of logic and mathematics
    – Conifold
    Commented Feb 22, 2022 at 20:29
  • Contradiction is essential to all human thought, not just analysis. Without contradiction, there is no effective reasoning or acting based on belief or knowledge, because the whole point of belief, knowledge, and propositional attitudes in general is what they rule out--that is, what they contradict. Commented Feb 22, 2022 at 20:43
  • Nature doesn't have (naturalized) contradiction which is only stemmed from imperfect limited human mind's dark confusions which were imprinted from numerous non-contradictory natural experiences while simultaneously having to be formed as a single judgement required by consciousness at any particular time... Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 3:56
  • @DavidGudeman That’s not all I’m saying I think. Maybe contradiction is not as objective, logical, or analytic as analysis is using it. It is no more or less than a tool humans use to meet desires(survival, etc). Maybe the baby is on my back, yet unbeknownst to me the predator climbed above and has it in its maw simultaneously. It’s just that most of the time back=safe, so I still think I can attain my desires without further checking on my baby. Therefore for analysis is much ado about a biological heuristic, yet sees itself as a grand unchanging sect of philosophy. That’s my worry.
    – J Kusin
    Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 15:58
  • @Conifold If analysis and LNC are revisable a la Quine, what further stability beyond empirical knowledge do they have? Where else am I to look? In purely analytic statements? But then those statements operate off stability that was never guaranteed by empirical knowledge. Have any non-analytic statements/experiments required the complete stability analysis purports? It would seem nothing we do (except analysis) requires that kind of stability.
    – J Kusin
    Commented Feb 23, 2022 at 16:19


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .