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Philosophical argument

The philosophical argument for explication

For many years, the idea of explication as an appropriate philosophical method has been disputed by philosophers.

Those who have championed its worth, have relied significantly on Carnap’s arguments expressed in his Logical Foundations of Probability, published in 1950. And an excerpt of these are currently available online at http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/carnap03.htm

However, Carnap’s arguments about the nature, power and importance of explication, came under serious criticism from various authors including Strawson in 1963, Boniolo in 2003, and Eagle in 2004.

As Jon Williamson points out in his recent article http://www.philosophypress.co.uk/?p=1770, one consequence of these criticisms was that explication “(fell) out of fashion in the second half of the 20th century”.

Something of a turning point has recently occurred, due in no small way to an important paper by Patrick Maher published in July 2007 by Studia Logica. Entitled “Explication Defended”, Maher’s argument led him to conclude that he had helped to “to clarify what explication is and how it works”, and notably, that “that explication is an appropriate methodology for doing formal philosophy.”

References to be listed here.

Carnap’s four tests

Page updated: 10 April 2013