Analyticity: Boghossian on Quine

Liebenberg, Nicolyn
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Abstract Analyticity: Boghossian on Quine In the wake of scepticism over the lucidity of the analytic/synthetic distinction, Paul Boghossian defends the distinction, albeit, the distinction between those statements which are synthetic, and those statements which are analytic in a specific kind of way. Boghossian holds that analytic statements are either metaphysically analytic (where the meaning of the terms in the statement determine the truth of the statement), or epistemically analytic (where knowledge of the meaning of the terms in the statement justifies our knowledge of the truth of the statement). Boghossian’s claim is that Quine is ambiguous regarding which kind of analyticity is the target of his attack in “Two Dogmas of Empiricism”, and that his failure to draw a distinction between different types of analyticity leads to his erroneous dismissal of both kinds of analyticity and their concomitant theories. His thought is that Quine was correct to dismiss the metaphysical notion of analyticity, and thus the linguistic theory of necessary truth; but mistaken in dismissing the epistemic notion of analyticity, and hence the analytic theory of the a priori. Within this paper, I offer an exposition of Quine’s arguments, as well as Boghossian’s replies, before critically discussing Boghossian’s arguments against metaphysical analyticity, as well as purported separation of metaphysical and epistemic analyticity.