History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis (HPLA) holds that the goal of systematic philosophy of uncovering and substantiating philosophical truths should also be a central tenet when investigating the history of philosophy, especially considering that historical texts were written with this goal in mind, i.e., out of an interest in truth. For this reason we should read these texts as potential conveyors of truths, and if — despite benevolent interpretation — this proves to be unfeasible, then as conveyors of falsehoods. Only in this manner can a lively dialogue with our philosophical past be initiated, and only thus can we properly pay tribute to it. On the whole, this approach promises to shed new light on classical texts, making them even more fruitful in dealing with the controversial issues of modern philosophy.
HPLA provides a forum for articles in which texts from the history of philosophy are approached with the aim of offering a systematic reconstruction of theories concerning pertinent philosophical problems (often deploying the resources of modern logical analysis in the course of reconstruction). Discovered theories or fragments of such theories can be carefully elucidated and developed further. In this way, novel questions can be put to an historical author, and profitably pursued within the framework of the established system.
The works of the history of philosophy should not only be honoured as historical documents, but first and foremost be taken seriously from a philosophical point of view.
Ever since the rise of the so-called analytic school in 20th century philosophy, philosophical analysis has often been considered to be synonymous with conceptual analysis. However, criticism has also been levelled at the conceptual analysis procedures, which undermined confidence in the merits of conceptual analysis. As far as the clarification of concepts is concerned, explication is therefore sometimes proposed as an alternative means. Combining historical and systematic perspectives, this volume collects new work on analytical and explicatory methods within 20th century philosophy. The contributions explore how clarificatory and reformatory methods of engaging with concepts have been construed and utilized by such different authors as Aristotle, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap or Mackie, marking out underappreciated congruencies and reevaluating historical disputes. They explore the role of analysis in metaphysics as well as metaethics and examine how methodological accounts relate to underlying ideas about concepts.