Monday, November 19, 2007

Sorry this is late,
Analytic truths are less substantial then synthetic truths because they impose no constraint on the world.
They do impose a constraint on the world; the recipe for truth is that truth depends on (a) what is expressed and (b) whether things actually are that way.
1. All vixens are female foxes.
1 is true because vixens are female foxes but does this impose a constraint on the world? It should be the case that in the world all vixens are female foxes. But what if all foxes were extinct? It should still be the case that if they did exist in the world then all vixens would be female foxes.
So analytic truths are not less substantial then synthetic truths rather there is little difference betweent them.
Understanding words in a language is just the ability to use them to interact well with other members of the community, in social practice.
Frege- analyticity: Frege- analytic sentences are logical truths or truths that can be turned into logical truths by replacing synonyms for synonyms.
2. All vixens are vixens
is a logical truth.
Vixen and female fox are synonymous so it follows that
1. All vixens are female foxes
is also a logical truth.
The problem that arises is when someone is not correct in their understanding of a word. There can be a case where a person makes a mistake in the definition of a word. So it could be the case that someone misunderstands that vixens are also immature male foxes and so believes 2 without believing in 1.
There is also a problem when words are not used in ways where synonyms can be replaced, like bachelor of arts degree. But a solution is that we take bachelor of arts degree as one whole word or concept instead of breaking it down further.

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