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Abstract


Analyticity, Essentialism and Holism
W. V. Quine's critique of the analytic-synthetic distinction is based on some presuppositions such as the acceptance of Aristotelian essentialism and the determinacy of meaning. Therefore, I will discuss Quine's criticism on analyticity in four respects: the appeal to meanings, the appeal to a definition, the appeal to interchangeability and the appeal to semantic rules. Aside from the inadequacy of the methods used to identify analytical sentences, there is a serious epistemological defect concealed in these methods for Quine's holistic approach. This defect has become apparent in the definition of analytical sentences according to the semantic rules used by Carnap. In this study, I have three aims. First, I want to examine the validity of the criteria used in determining analytical sentences, in terms of Quine's critique. Second, I want to show the relation of Aristotelian essentialism with the belief that analyticity can be determined. Third, I want to discuss whether Quine's holism, as an alternative to Carnap's epistemological approach in which one can handle the methodology and epistemology separately, is worthy of preference.

Keywords
Quine, Carnap, holism, analyticity, essentialism.


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