Analytic Philosophy is one of the two major traditions in modern philosophy, founded around the early 1900s. It is characterized by trying to solve philosophical questions by clearly defining our terms, focusing on narrow and specialized topics, the use of symbolic logic, and a trust in the findings of the natural sciences and mathematics. It is the dominate school of philosophy within the English speaking first world.
In the early 20th century, Gottlob Frege developed a new form of predicate logic which allowed for more ideas then had been previously thought to be represented in formal logic. Indeed, Frege even went so far as to say that all mathematics could be derived logic.
This system inspired Bertrand Russel to further build upon Frege's discoveries as he tried to argue that the problems in philosophy could be solved by reducing the sentences being used into symbolic logic. So for example, instead of saying "If Socrates is a man, then Socrates is mortal" you would say "If A is B, then A is C" where A stands for "Socrates", B stands for "a man" and C stands for "Mortal." Russel also rejected the Hegelian Idealism popular at the time in favor of what he saw as empiricism and common sense, inspired by his teacher G. E. Moore.
Russel's own student, Ludwig Wittgenstein originally largely agreed with Russel. At first, he thought that language (like first order logic) could be used to point to the totality of states of affairs as they existed. However, he latter changed his mind, claiming that language never points directly to things as they are in and of themselves, but that instead individual words can only be understood in terms of their social context and the way they are used alongside other words.
This led to an increased emphasis in later analytic philosophy of focusing on using the language of ordinary people, as opposed to trying to merely rely on specialized technical terminology.
- Scientocracy - Science is good.
- Steiner-Vallentyne School - A more recent pupal of mine.
- Chomskyism - One of the most important modern linguists.
- Social Liberalism - Extremely popular amongst my followers.
- Positivism - I like the empiricism, but you're ideas are rejected universally by modern analytic philosophers.
- Neo-Marxism - You're Analytic version is pretty cool I guess, but stop hanging out with those obscurantists!
- Continental Philosophy - I suppose there not all bad. Mostly, we ignore each other.
- Post-Modernism - Speak clearly you damn obscurantist!