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Ordinary language philosophy

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-U026-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 23, 2024, from

Article Summary

Ordinary language philosophy is a method of doing philosophy, rather than a set of doctrines. It is diverse in its methods and attitudes. It belongs to the general category of analytic philosophy, which has as its principal goal the analysis of concepts rather than the construction of a metaphysical system or the articulation of insights about the human condition. The method is to use features of certain words in ordinary or non-philosophical contexts as an aid to doing philosophy. The uses in non-philosophical contexts are taken to be paradigmatic; it is in them that meaning lives and moves and has its being. All ordinary language philosophers agree that classical philosophy suffered from an inadequate methodology that accounts for the lack of progress. But proponents of the method do not agree about whether philosophical problems are solved or dissolved; that is, they do not agree about whether philosophical problems are genuine problems for which there are solutions or whether they are merely pseudo-problems, which can at best be diagnosed.

Citing this article:
Martinich, A.P.. Ordinary language philosophy, 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-U026-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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