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Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism$
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David Braddon-Mitchell and Robert Nola

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262012560

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262012560.001.0001

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Naturalistic Analysis and the A Priori

Naturalistic Analysis and the A Priori

(p.23) 2 Naturalistic Analysis and the A Priori
Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism

David Braddon-Mitchell

The MIT Press

This chapter examines the relationship between naturalism and analysis and how it has changed through the years; the relationship has gone from conjugal closeness to bitter animosity and back to some tentative signs of reconciliation. It can be traced back to the positivism initiated in the early twentieth century. Positivism’s partition of sentences into observation sentences and theoretical sentences only left room for science—which collects and systematizes observation sentences—and analysis—which systematizes the analytic rules that govern the use of all the other sentences. Behaviorism as a theory of mind emerged from positivism, not through introspecting on the meaning of mental state terms, but through examining how and under what conditions mental predicates are applied. However, a clear and logical criterion for distinguishing between observation sentences and theoretical sentences was not put in place, and it is in this sense that the positivist project failed.

Keywords:   naturalism, positivism, observation sentences, theoretical sentences, science, analysis, behaviorism, theory of mind, positivist project

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