A review of Soames new history of analytic philiosophy

Alex Byrne and Ned Hall review Scott Soames tour of analytic philosophy, Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century, Volume 1: The Dawn of Analysis and Volume 2: The Age of Meaning.

“As Soames observes in the introduction to the first volume, ‘Analytic philosophy is a trail of influence’: the history of analytic philosophy is the history of a continuing dialogue, in the course of which terms and distinctions crucial to philosophical debates become steadily sharper, standards of argument become steadily more exacting, and occasional imaginative breakthroughs transform the way philosophical problems are posed. Soames is a particularly appropriate historian: he has made important contributions to contemporary philosophy of language, and his own talent for clarity and rigor testifies to one important kind of progress analytic philosophy has made in the last hundred years.

Given that analytic philosophy is not distinguished by a body of received answers to philosophical questions, has it made progress of another kind?”