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Grant number: FB-58111-15

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Sanford Shieh
Wesleyan University (Middletown, CT 06459-3208)

Modality and Logic in Early Analytic Philosophy

This project examines a little-known debate on the relation between logic and the concepts of necessity and possibility in the first forty years of analytic philosophy. The project rests on the premise that applying methods of historical and textual analysis to the writings of central figures of early analytic philosophy matters philosophically. The significance of the project for the humanities in general lies in this interdisciplinary approach. Employing this approach to the texts of Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, C. I. Lewis, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, this study reveals substantial differences between early analytic and contemporary philosophical conceptions. Most importantly, it shows that the early analytic conceptions both have an intuitive attraction which precludes easy dismissal, and lead to consequences not recognized in contemporary work. In sum, this project demonstrates the relevance of the history of analytic philosophy for ongoing research in logic and metaphysics.

Project fields:
History of Philosophy; Logic; Metaphysics

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2015 – 12/31/2015