Analytic truth

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Analytic truth refers to a sentence which is true solely in virtue of its meaning.

Examples

(i) Bachelors are unmarried.

The sentences like (i) is an analytic truth because the meaning of the predicate is part of the meaning of the subject.

Sentence (ii) is a necessary but not an analytic truth:

(ii) Every raven is black or not black

Comments

The counterpart of analytic truths are synthetic truths: their truth depends on the state of affairs in the actual world. This distinction was first made by Kant. Sentence (i) is also a necessary truth: it is always true due to rules of logical deduction.

The difference between analytic truth and necessary truth is that analyticity depends on the meanings of the expressions used, while necessity depends on certain logical operators such as un- in (i) and not in (ii).

All sentences which are true, but not necessarily true, are contingent truths: their truth has to be derived from the facts of the actual world.

Link

Utrecht Lexicon of Linguistics

References

  • Katz, Jerrold 1972. The philosophy of linguistics. Oxford University Press.
  • Quine, W. 1953. From a logical point of view (184 p.). Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass.