more from Gilbert Harman

Single Idea 3087

[catalogued under 19. Language / E. Analyticity / 3. Analytic and Synthetic]

Full Idea

No purpose is served by thinking that certain principles available to a person are contained in his internal encyclopaedia - and therefore only synthetic - whereas other principles are part of his internal dictionary - and are therefore analytic.

Gist of Idea

The analytic/synthetic distinction is a silly division of thought into encyclopaedia and dictionary


Gilbert Harman (Thought [1973], 6.5)

Book Reference

Harman,Gilbert: 'Thought' [Princeton 1977], p.98

A Reaction

If it led to two different ways to acquire knowledge, then quite a lot of purpose would be served. He speaks like a pragmatist. The question is whether some statements just are true because of some feature of meaning. Why not?