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The Failure of Analysis and the Nature of Concepts

  • Michael Huemer
Chapter

Abstract

Over the last century, many well-qualified philosophers spent many years attempting to analyze philosophically interesting concepts, such as KNOWLEDGE, FREE WILL, and CAUSATION. Yet no one succeeded in producing a single correct analysis. What went wrong? I ascribe the aspirations of conceptual analysis to a Lockean theory of concepts that ought to be rejected. I propose an alternative picture of concepts and properties that explains both (i) why linguistic intuitions about cases dominate the evaluation of conceptual analyses; and (ii) why most concepts are unanalyzable.

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© Michael Huemer 2015

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  • Michael Huemer

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