Philosophy Today

Volume 15, Issue 3, Fall 1971

F. Joseph Smith
Pages 159-174

Some Notes on the Meaning of Analysis

The following frank comments on the subject of analysis, though they obviously represent a preliminary examination af some of the problems that emerge between philosophical analysis and phenomenology as the two major trends in contemporary philosophy, are conceived by the present author in a much broader manner than the mere confrontation of two apparently opposing schools of thought. Due to the emergent nature of these themes, some adagio, others allegro, it has been impossible to arrange them in the usual systematic manner. (This difficulty was experienced in a grander manner by Wittgenstein himself, as his remarks in Philosophical Investigations plainly show.) Whatever in these comments is "offensive" to either phenomenologist or analyst derives from the fact that this is only a preliminary study, in which the author is orienting himself and preparing for more systematic and thorough-going dialogue with sympathetic analyst friends and phenomenologist critics. (More developed thoughts and satisfactory conclusions should be reached in my forthcoming review essay on H. Khatchadourian's A Study in Critical Method, now being written for The Journal of Value Inquiry.) What is presented here to friend, foe, and general philosophical reader, is a selection of themes that have puzzled me greatly. I offer them without any of the usual excuses and with the hope that to some extent this discussion may bring philosophers together, so that we can begin to lind the common ground, on which to make our contribution to contemporary thought the more truly convincing.