Analytic Philosophy and History of Philosophy: The Development of the Idea of Rational Reconstruction

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Analytic philosophers often either scorn or simply ignore the history of philosophy. Where interpretations have been offered of past philosophical works, in what we can call ‘analytic’ history of philosophy, they have tended to be ‘rational reconstructions’. In recent years, however, philosophers trained in the analytic tradition have begun to look at the history of analytic philosophy itself more seriously, thus bringing questions about the relationship between philosophy and history of philosophy closer to home. This essay considers some of the philosophical and historiographical presuppositions and implications of this debate, focusing on the idea of rational reconstruction. The latter developed alongside analytic philosophy and holds the key to understanding one central thread in the relationship between analytic philosophy and history of philosophy.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Historical Turn in Analytic Philosophy
EditorsErich H. Reck
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781137304872
ISBN (Print)9781349299683
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameHistory of Analytic Philosophy
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


  • History of analytic philosophy
  • rational reconstruction
  • Frege
  • Russell
  • Carnap
  • Popper
  • Reichenbach
  • Quine
  • Lakatos
  • Rorty


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