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In Defense of Analyticity

Delivered in Putonghua and Cantonese


Quine has criticized analyticity. To answer Quine’s challenge, Boghossian distinguishes metaphysical analyticity and epistemological analyticity. He argues that epistemological analyticity exists while metaphysical analyticity does not. But, Timothy Williamson rejects epistemological analyticity. In this seminar, I will defend both metaphysical analyticity and epistemological analyticity. I will offer an original argument to defend metaphysical analyticity.

The new argument holds that metaphysical analyticity is true in virtue of concepts rather than true in virtue of meanings. I will argue that analytic propositions are about the logical relations of realities. And these logical relations are the projections of our conceptual systems. So, the truth of analytic statements is completely determined by the concepts they contain. That is to say, what make an analytic statement true are concepts alone. And then, I will defend epistemological analyticity by means of proposing a new conception of analyticity – justificatory analyticity. I will show that both Boghossian and Williamson’s definitions of epistemological analyticity are improper. The proper conception of epistemological analyticity should be justificatory analyticity.