Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Course in the History of Analytic Philosophy

Following up the previous post, here is the list of lectures that I gave here in Taiwan, with the readings for each lecture. I had 22 sessions, with an hour and a half per session, but pressed into four weeks. I ended up with only 18 lectures, with some sessions having more reading than others. An introductory course in deductive logic was presupposed.

1 What is analytic philosophy? What is the history of analytic
Glock, What is Analytic Philosophy?, pp. 21-48.

2 Kant and Mill
(i) Kant, Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics (1783), Preamble
and First Part. (ii) Mill, A System of Logic (1843), Book I, Ch. 3, sections 6-9, Ch. 5 & Book II, Ch. 6.

3 Frege, Foundations: Project & Critical Phase
Foundations, Introduction, sections 1-44

4 Frege, Foundations: Constructive Phase
Foundations, sections 45-69

5 Frege, Foundations: Implications
Foundations, sections 70-109

6 Frege, Two later papers
"Sense and Reference", "The Thought"

7 Moore and Russell
Moore, "Refutation of Idealism"

8 Russell on Denoting
Russell, "On Denoting"

9 Russell, Problems: Perception
Problems of Philosophy, ch. 1-4

10 Russell, Problems: Universals
Problems of Philosophy, ch. 5-10

11 Russell, Problems: Judgment
Problems of Philosophy, ch. 11-15

12 Wittgenstein, Tractatus: Metaphysics

13 Wittgenstein, Tractatus: Picturing

14 Wittgenstein, Tractatus: Logic

15 Wittgenstein, Tractatus: Nonsense

16 The Vienna Circle
Neurath, Carnap, Hahn, "The Scientific World Conception: The Vienna Circle", Schlick, "The Turning Point in Philosophy", Carnap, "Elimination
of Metaphysics"

17 Protocol Sentences
Neurath, "Physicalism", "Protocol Sentences", Carnap, "Protocol

18 Carnap & Quine
Carnap, "Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology", Quine, "Two Dog-
mas of Empiricism"

Ideally there would be two more lectures: (i) one after 17 filling out the second phase of the protocol sentence debate with Schlick's "Foundation of Knowledge" and some later Neurath papers "Radical Physicalism and the 'Real World'" and "Unity of Science as a Task" and (ii) a final lecture bringing together some of the lessons for the history of analytic philosophy and noting some later developments with Quine and post-Quine. While this is a lot for one semester, for fifteen weeks I think it is a good balance of coverage of material and detailed discussion.


Eric Schliesser said...

That looks like a splendid course (but no Moore, Ramsey, or any of the Polish at all?)! But aren't you perpetuating the myth that the core of analytic philosophy is in Logic, language, and science? Why no early analytic ethics post Sidgwick?

Chris Pincock said...

I have "Refutation of Idealism", but I agree that this is mainly background for Russell. More generally, though, I do not think this kind of introductory course should aim to be comprehensive or give the impression for students that they are reading all the "classics". Instead, I try to pick a few themes and trace them through several philosophers. You are right that my theme is roughly "How does logic relate to epistemology and metaphysics?". I would say this is a central theme for the people in the class, but does not engage with Moore and ethics, or even developments in the 1930s anywhere.

Eric Schliesser said...

Sorry, missed refutation!