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Truth in Virtue of Meaning – A Defence of the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Truth in Virtue of Meaning: A Defence of the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction

Gillian Russell


The analytic/synthetic distinction looks simple. It is a distinction between two different kinds of sentence: synthetic sentences are true in part because of the way the world is, and in part because of what they mean, whereas analytic sentences — like all bachelors are unmarried and triangles have three sides — are different; they are true in virtue of meaning and so, no matter what the world is like, as long as the sentence means what it does, it will be true. The distinction seems powerful because analytic sentences seem to be knowable in a special way; one can know that all bachelors are u ... More

Keywords: truth, virtue of meaning, semantic externalism, Quine, Kaplan, philosophy of language, epistemology, a priori, empiricism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2008 Print ISBN-13: 9780199232192
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232192.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gillian Russell, author
Washington University in St Louis
Author Webpage