Ordinary language philosophy

View that philosophical problems are based in distortions of language

Ordinary language philosophy is a way of doing philosophy that uses ordinary, everyday words. It came out of analytic philosophy, the most common way of doing philosophy in English-speaking countries in the 20th century.

Analytic philosophers like Bertrand Russell thought that ordinary language was confused, and tried to use the ideal or most accurate words to describe ideas. Ordinary language philosophers thought that analytic philosophers had a problem with forgetting what words really mean. They thought that using ordinary words would make their ideas clearer and their mistakes easier to spot.

Ordinary language philosophy came out of followers of the later work of Ludwig Wittgenstein at the University of Oxford, and was most popular between 1930 and 1970.

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