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Now we need to get you reading some continental philosophy so you can understand how the Church can be true and how truth can't be considered a set of propositions... (grin)

BTW - the bigger confusion, I've noticed, is less between propositions and propositional attitudes than it is between statements and propositions. This is especially true regarding indexicals. (i.e. statements of the sort, "I am inside" and whether that is a true statement or proposition) My favorite analytic philosopher is Donald Davidson and he usually is careful to deal with statement rather than propositions (except in certain qualified ways) presumably because of this issue.

The problem is though that the move from statements to propositions is anything but uncontroversial. Why? Because it entails an act of interpretations which gets us into hermeneutics and once again various Continental issues.

Clark, my prior impressions of analytic philosophy were that it was dry and rather narrow. Either that has changed or I have become more interested in topics like language and philosophy of mind. I've got books by Davidson and Putnam lying around--that should do for a couple of months.

Most excellent post; I've referenced it on one of my favorite discussion boards where we've been talking about black and white thinking.

Thanks for the link, Ann. I'll expect a few visitors tomorrow.

What's interesting is that the distinction between analytic and continental philosophy is fairly arbitrary and somewhat misleading. Lots of similar elements pop up in both.

Propositions are interesting to me, precisely because they are ubiquitous and yet strangely mysterious. They are what is asserted, believed, assented to, and so forth. They aren't all sentences, yet in other ways they appear to be sentences. They can, if one isn't careful, lead into all sorts of errors. Yet they are taken for granted in most analytic studies. Normally it isn't a big deal since most analytic philosophy considers the simple cases to understand them. But where those break down are very interesting...

Personally I find analytic philosophy terribly fascinating. But I've not delved into it much due to focusing in on Heidegger and related issues. But I've been rereading Davidson of late and forgot how much I enjoy him.

Dave: Now you need to start reading the analytic philosophy of law -- You thought Russell and Davidson was fun, wait until you hang out with H.L.A. Hart and Joseph Raz!

Nate, you would be pleased to know I picked up a copy of Hart's "The Concept of Law" last month, so I'll just add it to the hopper. I think I was motivated by all the titles you were throwing around T&S at the time.

Dave: Read Hart! You have to realize, however, that Hart is for current analytic jurisprudence what Wiggtenstein is for current analytic philosophy. He kicks it off, and everyone is arguing with or about him since then. I am also a big fan of Jules Coleman, but this is largely because I am interested in law & economics and Coleman is one of the few guys in analytic jurisprudence who treats L&E knowledgeably and responsibly. I have been looking for Mormons interested in contemporary philosophy of law who are willing to talk to me, and I can't find anyone. Mike Durham just finished up his Ph.D. at Yale under Jules Coleman. (I am supressing my envy and educational regret.) Mike, however, is too busy to muck around with me much.

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