Carnapian Explication and the Canberra Plan’s Conceptual Analysis

A Comparison and Critique

in History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis
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  • 1 Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Conceptual analysis has been typically recognized as a traditional methodology within analytic philosophy, but many philosophers have heavily criticized it. In contrast, the methodology of Carnapian explication has been undergoing a revival as a methodological alternative due to its revisionary aim. I will make explicit the shared structural properties and goals of Carnapian explication and the kind of conceptual analysis advanced by the advocates of the Canberra Plan. Also, I will argue that although their goal to make philosophy more scientific is desirable, they cannot achieve their goal of clearly distinguishing philosophy from science. Moreover, since traditional conceptual analysis is an element of both revisionary methodologies, it is also unable to mark a clear distinction between them. The comparison throws some light on the relationship between traditional conceptual analysis and the two revisionary methodologies, their implicit theoretical commitments and deficiencies.

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