Category Archives: jhap

Carnap on Analyticity and Existence / Review of work on Quine, Goodman, Popper, and Wittgenstein

Volume 7.5 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Gary Ebbs entitled “Carnap on Analyticity and Existence: A Clarification, Defense, and Development of Quine’s Reading of Carnap’s Views on Ontology”. Here is an abstract:

Does Carnap’s treatment of philosophical questions about existence, such as “Are there numbers?” and “Are there physical objects?”, depend on his analytic–synthetic distinction? If so, in what way? I answer these questions by clarifying, defending, and developing the reading of Carnap’s paper “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” that W. V. Quine proposes, with little justification or explanation, in his paper “On Carnap’s Views on Ontology”. The primary methodological value of studying Quine’s reading of “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” is that it prompts us to look for, and helps us to see the significance of, passages by Carnap that reveal the logical foundations of his views on ontology. Guided in this way by Quine’s reading, I show that (1) in “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” Carnap’s preferred treatment of philosophical questions relies on paraphrasing them so that their answers are immediately obvious elementary logical truths, and are therefore, by his standards, trivially analytic; and (2) in its most general form, Carnap’s treatment of philosophical questions about existence depends on his controversial view that the analytic truths of a language L may include sentences that are not elementary logical truths, but that are nevertheless, by Carnap’s standards, analytic-in-L simply because we have stipulated that they are to be among the “meaning postulates” of L.

The volume also contains a review of Bredo Johnsen, Righting Epistemology: Hume’s Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), written by Matthew Carlson.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Verificationism and (Some of) its Discontents

Volume 7.4 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Thomas Uebel entitled “Verificationism and (Some of) its Discontents”. Here is an abstract:

Verificationism has had a bad press for many years. The view that the meaning of our words is bound up with the discernible difference it would make if what we say, think or write were true or false, nowadays is scorned as “positivist” though it was shared by eminent empiricists and pragmatists. This paper seeks to sort through some of the complexities of what is often portrayed as an unduly simplistic conception. I begin with an overview of its main logical empiricist varieties before considering which aspects of it fall victim to which of the three major types of objection that have been raised against it. I will conclude that what is left standing is a modest proposal that seems worth further investigation.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Book Symposium: Wilfrid Sellars and the Foundations of Normativity by Peter Olen

Volume 7.3 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open access.

The contributions included in this volume were originally prepared for an “Author Meets Critics” session on Peter Olen’s book Wilfrid Sellars and the Foundations of Normativity, organized by Carl Sachs for the Eastern Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Savannah, Georgia, on 5th January, 2018.

Table of contents

  1. Catherine Legg: Peter Olen: Wilfrid Sellars and the Foundations of Normativity
  2. David Beisecker: On Peter Olen’s Wilfrid Sellars and the Foundations of Normativity
  3. Mark Lance: Rejecting the pure, but keeping the pragmatics
  4. Peter Olen: Response to Critics

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at jhaponline.org. Submissions welcome!

Donald Davidson: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Volume 7.2 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open access.

This volume is a special issue: Donald Davidson: Looking back, Looking forward, edited by Claudine Verheggen. The volume contains five substantial articles, as well as an introductory essay. Here is an abstract:

The papers collected in this issue were solicited to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of Donald Davidson’s birth. Four of them discuss the implications of Davidson’s views—in particular, his later views on triangulation—for questions that are still very much at the centre of current debates. These are, first, the question whether Saul Kripke’s doubts about meaning and rule-following can be answered without making concessions to the sceptic or to the quietist; second, the question whether a way can be found to answer Davidson’s own doubts about the continuity of non-propositional thought and language; third, the question whether normative properties can be at once causal and prescriptive; fourth, the question whether folk psychological explanations can be at once illuminating and autonomous. The fifth paper reexamines Davidson’s take on the principle of compositionality, which always was at the centre of his theorizing about language.

Table of contents

  1. Claudine Verheggen: Volume Introduction
  2. Olivia Sultanescu and Claudine Verheggen: Davidson’s Answer to Kripke’s Sceptic
  3. Dorit Bar-On: Crude Meaning, Brute Thought (or: What Are They Thinking?!)
  4. Robert Myers: Davidson’s Meta-Normative Naturalism
  5. Karsten R. Stueber: Davidson, Reasons, and Causes: A Plea for a Little Bit More Empathy
  6. Peter Pagin: Compositionality in Davidson’s Early Work

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at jhaponline.org. Submissions welcome!

Sellars’s Argument for an Ontology of Absolute Processes / Review of Work of Russell

Volume 7.1 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by David Landy entitled “Sellars’s Argument for an Ontology of Absolute Processes”. Here is an abstract:

Scholars have rejected Wilfrid Sellars’s argument for an ontology of absolute processes on the grounds that it relies on a dubious and dogmatic appeal to the homogeneity of color. Borrowing from Rosenthal’s recent defense, but ultimate rejection of homogeneity, I defend this claim on Sellarsian/Kantian transcendental grounds, and reconstruct the remainder of his argument. I argue that Sellars has good reason to suppose that homogeneity is a necessary condition of any possible experience, including indirect experience of theoretical-explanatory posits, and therefore good reason to hold that Reductive Materialism, as he conceives it, is an untenable account of color. The remainder of his argument aims to answer the question of what the metaphysical relation is between the state of an experiencing subject that we take color to be and the colorless microphysical particles that we take to constitute that subject. After rejecting Substance Dualism, Epiphenomenalism, and Wholistic or Emergent Materialism as explanatorily inadequate, Sellars proposes that both color-states and micro-physical particles should be understood as manifestations of an underlying ontology on absolute processes.

The volume also contains a review of Samuel Lebens, Bertrand Russell and the Nature of Propositions: A History and Defence of the Multiple Relation Theory of Judgement (New York: Routledge, 2017), written by Rosalind Carey.

Call for Proposals: Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy Special Issues

JHAP recently created a position of Editor for Special Issues with the purpose of offering support for first rate thematic collections of articles and encourage collective and collaborative publications in the field. Proposals on any topic within the scope of the Journal are welcome and encouraged. JHAP aims to promote research and provide a forum for discussion of the history of analytic philosophy. ‘History’ and ‘analytic’ are understood broadly. JHAP takes the history of analytic philosophy to be part of analytic philosophy. Accordingly, it publishes historical research that interacts with the ongoing concerns of analytic philosophers and with the history of other twentieth century philosophical movements and traditions.

Open Access Policy

JHAP provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge. No fees are charged to authors for submission or publication of their works.

Length of Issues

JHAP is an online open access publication that offers broad flexibility of format for collections of articles and length of contributions. There are no a priori constraints to the number of essays or the minimum/maximum number of words of each article. This is meant to encourage innovative approach to scholarship and to offer flexibility for Guest-Editors.

Submission

Those interested in acting as Guest-Editor for a special issue are asked to submit a 2-page proposal describing the theme of the issue and the proposed list of contributors. All submissions will be reviewed by the Editorial Board to assess fit. Each proposal deemed to fall within the scope of the journal will then be reviewed by external referees. Successful proposals will further receive input from the Editor for Special Issues.

To request a proposal submission form, to submit a proposal or if you have any questions, please contact the Editor for Special Issues directly at lapointe@mcmaster.ca. The Subject must read: “JHAP Special Issue Project”.

Peer-Review of Articles

JHAP will insure that submitted proposals as well as the complete final draft of special issues be peer-reviewed. Guest-Editors will be responsible for anonymously refereeing individual articles within their special issue.

Timeline

Guest-Editors will be responsible for delivering their special issue within the time-frame they will have defined, on a case by case basis, in consultation with the Editor for Special Issue. Failure to deliver an issue within the time-frame might result in a cancellation of the project

Support for Guest-Editors

The position of Editor for Special Issues was created with the objective of encouraging new project and fostering a better culture around intellectual collaborations. Those are the principles that will be applied in all aspects of the process. The Editor for Special Issues is tasked to receive and assess proposals and to steward prospective Guest-Editors throughout the process. Guest-Editors for special issues will have access to a customised user-friendly portal that will allow them to manage paper submissions, revisions and refereeing for their project online.

Commissioned Projects

In addition to receiving submissions, the Editor for Special is tasked to recruit Guest-Editors for new projects. Recruitment is guided by the principles that are at the core of JHAP’s mandate: to encourage and support historical research that interacts with the ongoing concerns of analytic philosophy and with the history of other twentieth century philosophical traditions, and to do so in ways that challenges received views and promotes innovation.

On the Curious Calculi of Wittgenstein and Spencer Brown

Volume 6.10 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Gregory Landini entitled “On the Curious Calculi of Wittgenstein and Spencer Brown”. Here is an abstract:

In his Tractatus, Wittgenstein sets out what he calls his N-operator notation which can be used to calculate whether an expression is a tautology. In his Laws of Form, George Spencer Brown offers what he calls a “primary algebra” for such calculation. Both systems are perplexing. But comparing two blurry images can reduce noise, producing a focus. This paper reveals that Spencer Brown independently rediscovered the quantifier-free part of the N-operator calculus. The comparison sheds a flood light on each and from the letters of correspondence we shall find that Russell, as one might have surmised, was a catalyst for both.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Truth, Meaning, and Interpretation: A Reconsideration of Davidson’s Program

Volume 6.9 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Arpy Khatchirian entitled “Truth, Meaning, and Interpretation: A Reconsideration of Davidson’s Program”. Here is an abstract:

On a common reading of Davidson, the motivation for his proposal that a meaning theory is to take the form of a truth theory is at least partly guided by concern with the ends and means of interpretation. At the same time, the consensus seems to be that this proposal faces a particularly stubborn justificatory burden. The aim of this paper is twofold: first, to suggest that there is a promising route to discharging this burden, albeit one that is visible only once we shift our attention away from the so-called ‘problem of interpretation’; second, to make the case that, contrary to initial appearances, the line of justification offered here gives us a plausible interpretation of Davidson’s own goals.

JHAP is a free, open-access peer reviewed journal. It is available at https://jhaponline.org/. Submissions welcome!

Three Positivist Disputes in the 1960s / Review of Work on Frege

Volume 6.8 of The Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy (JHAP) has now been published online, with full open-access.

It features an article by Carl-Göran Heidegren entitled “Three Positivist Disputes in the 1960s”. Here is an abstract:

The West German positivist dispute in the 1960s is well known and thoroughly studied. At about the same time positivist disputes also took place in two Scandinavian countries: one in Norway and one in Sweden. What did the front lines in the debate look like in the three countries? What was the outcome of the different disputes? The main focus in the article is on the Swedish case, but some comparative perspectives relating to the three disputes will also be presented. The Swedish positivist dispute originated with Gerard Radnitzky’s doctoral dissertation in theory of science, defended at the University of Gothenburg in May 1968, Contemporary Schools of Metascience (2 volumes). The dissertation caused a stir of controversy. It meant a challenge to the Swedish philsophical establishment because it leaned heavily on continental philosophers such as Karl-Otto Apel and Jürgen Habermas, who at the time were more or less unknown in Sweden. The controversy was continuated in the following years, most notably in the leftist journal Häften för kritiska studier (Notebooks for Critical Studies).

The volume also contains a review of Pieranna Garavaso and Nicla Vassallo, Frege on Thinking and Its Epistemic Significance  (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015), written by Rasa Davidaviciute.

Marcus Rossberg assumes role of Editor in Chief at JHAP

Marcus Rossberg (UConn) has assumed the role of Editor in Chief of the Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy. Marcus works on philosophy of logic and mathematics as well as on Frege (he’s co-editor and co-translator of the new English edition of Frege’s Basic Laws) and Nelson Goodman. He succeeds Kevin Klement (UMass), who has concluded a productive three-year term. Kevin remains on the editorial board. Many thanks to Kevin for his service.