Center for Cognitive Sciences and Semantics,
University of Latvia invites to
an intensive course

Analysis and Analyticity

Prof. Sandra Lapointe
Kansas State University

December 15, 2007, 10:00
Brīvības Blvd. 32.

Course description:

What makes analytic philosophy “analytic”? One plausible answer is: its concern for “analysis”, that is, for conceptual or logical analysis. This seems to provide an intuitive answer to the question. But, what is analysis? This is neither obvious nor intuitive. Conceptual analysis is a properly philosophical practice that has no equivalent in everyday life. Most accounts of what conceptual analysis consists in are tied to another notion: analyticity. We owe this notion to Immanuel Kant. According to Kant and many of his successors, a truth such as ‘All bachelors are unmarried‘ is “analytic” in the following sense: it is true by virtue of the analysis of the terms it contains.

The aim of this introductory course is to come to grasp with the idea that some propositions are “true by virtue of the analysis or meaning of the terms they contain”. In addition to providing an overview of the standard conceptions of analysis and analyticity from Kant to Quine, we will use example to understand what is specific to propositions that are said to be analytic and what role they play in knowledge. We will also contrast analyticity with other related notion such as aprioricity and necessity and explain how they are related to one another.


  1. The Kantian Heritage and Contemporary Definitions
  2. What is truth by virtue of meaning
  3. Why is analyticity important?
  4. What is logical form?
  5. What is logical truth?
  6. Quine's critique of analyticity

Preparatory Readings:

Further information: