Philosophical Studies

, Volume 159, Issue 2, pp 299–319 | Cite as

On the Quinean-analyticity of mathematical propositions

  • Gregory Lavers


This paper investigates the relation between Carnap and Quine’s views on analyticity on the one hand, and their views on philosophical analysis or explication on the other. I argue that the stance each takes on what constitutes a successful explication largely dictates the view they take on analyticity. I show that although acknowledged by neither party (in fact Quine frequently expressed his agreement with Carnap on this subject) their views on explication are substantially different. I argue that this difference not only explains their differences on the question of analyticity, but points to a Quinean way to answer a challenge that Quine posed to Carnap. The answer to this challenge leads to a Quinean view of analyticity such that arithmetical truths are analytic, according to Quine’s own remarks, and set theory is at least defensibly analytic.


Carnap Quine Analyticity Explication Mathematics 



Thanks to Gerald Callaghan, Michael Cuffaro, William Demopoulos, Sona Ghosh, and Parzhad Torfehnezhad for their comments and suggestions. I would also like to thank the anonymous referees who read this paper for their helpful advice. Finally, I would like to thank the many people in the various audiences to whom I presented this paper for their comments and suggestions.


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada

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