There is, I believe, one central reason both why conceptual analysts may have been unduly timid and retiring in their response to the plain man’s demands, and why philosophical fashion has turned, or is turning, away from conceptual analysis. It is that there has never been any agreement, or any well-clarified and well-publicised agreement, about concepts; even though that term must be more used than almost any other in the present context. Consequently there now exists in some circles (fairly near, as I see it, to the centre of the Inferno) something rather too fuzzy to be called a set of doctrines, but rather too specific — and articulated by too many intelligent people — to be too quickly dismissed as a mere fashion or climate of opinion. It seems to involve (1) a general view of what concepts are, and hence of the limitations or dangers of conceptual analysis, and (2) a slightly more specific view about certain concepts, namely that they are ‘contestable’ or ‘essentially contestable’.
KeywordsConceptual Analysis Christian Religion Possessive Pronoun Intelligent People Private Association
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