FoL 8.12. Susan Stebbing

What is the difference between logical and metaphysical analysis? According to Susan Stebbing, logical analysis is able to give an unambiguous meaning of a proposition:

If p is to be analyzed, then p must be understood. It follows that there is at least one expression which unambiguously expresses p.

By contrast, metaphysical analysis uncovers the “basic facts” on which the meaning of p to be analyzed is grounded:

If p is to be analyzed, then it is not always the case that p is known to be false, and it is sometimes the case that p is known to be true.

While logical analysis is set on the same level as the proposition, metaphysical analysis, insofar as it leads to basic facts behind the propositon, is “directional”. One of the advantages of this distinction is that it allows for excluding metaphysical issues from the inquiry. Stebbing’s approach to analysis may thus be considered “purpose-relative”.

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