No need for title

October 3, 1997

Ray Monk's review article about Thomas Nagel (THES, September 26) was a model of clarity, exhibiting the virtues of analytical philosophy which he rightly seeks to preserve: rigour, precision and intellectual honesty.

However, I see no need to invent a new title "post-analytic philosophy" for the extension of philosophical analysis to discussable topics taken from the philosophical tradition. It is, still, simply analytical philosophy.

The long tradition in political and social philosophy analysing the work of Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche from Isaiah Berlin, John Plamenatz, Charles Taylor, through to Gerry Cohen is but one example of the excellent work which can and has been done. It is sympathetic to the writers' work, yet rigorous in criticising nonsense and searching for truth. In philosophy there is just analysis: some good, but, as Ray Monk shows, much that is muddled.

Les Burwood Philosophy department King Alfred's University College Winchester

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