On the emergence of American analytic philosophy

British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (4):772-798 (2017)
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ABSTRACTThis paper is concerned with the reasons for the emergence and dominance of analytic philosophy in America. It closely examines the contents of, and changing editors at, The Philosophical Review, and provides a perspective on the contents of other leading philosophy journals. It suggests that analytic philosophy emerged prior to the 1950s in an environment characterized by a rich diversity of approaches to philosophy and that it came to dominate American philosophy at least in part due to its effective promotion by The Philosophical Review’s editors. Our picture of mid-twentieth-century American philosophy is different from existing ones, including those according to which the prominence of analytic philosophy in America was basically a matter of the natural affinity between American philosophy and analytic philosophy and those according to which the political climate at the time was hostile towards non-analytic approaches. Furthermore, our reconstruction suggests a new perspective on the nature of 1950s analytic philosophy.

Author Profiles

Joel Katzav
University of Queensland
Krist Vaesen
Eindhoven University of Technology


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