G. E. Moore and the greifswald objectivists on the given and the beginning of analytic philosophy

Axiomathes 14 (4):361-379 (2004)
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Shortly before G. E. Moore wrote down the formative for the early analytic philosophy lectures on Some Main Problems of Philosophy (1910–1911), he had become acquainted with two books which influenced his thought: (1) a book by Husserl's pupil August Messer and (2) a book by the Greifswald objectivist Dimitri Michaltschew. Central to Michaltschew's book was the concept of the given. In Part I, I argue that Moore elaborated his concept of sense-data in the wake of the Greifswald concept. Carnap did the same when he wrote his Aufbau, the only difference being that he spoke not of sense-data but of Erlebnisse. This means, I argue, that both Moore's sense-data and Carnap'sErlebnisse have little to do with either British empiricists or the neo-Kantians. In Part II, I try to ascertain what made early analytic philosophy different from all those philosophical groups and movements that either exercised influence on it, or were closely related to it: phenomenologists, Greifswald objectivists, Brentanists. For this purpose, I identify the sine qua non practices of the early analytic philosophers: exactness; acceptance of the propositional turn; descriptivism; objectivism. If one of these practices was not explored by a given philosophical school or group, in all probability, it was not truly analytic


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