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Analytic philosophy is a branch and tradition of philosophy using analysis which is popular in the Western World and particularly the Anglosphere, beginning around the turn of the 20th century in the contemporary era and continuing today. In the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Scandinavia, the majority of university philosophy departments today identify themselves as "analytic" departments.[1]

Central figures in this historical development of analytic philosophy are Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, G. E. Moore, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Other important figures in its history include the logical positivists (particularly Rudolf Carnap), W. V. O. Quine, Saul Kripke, and Karl Popper.

Analytic philosophy is characterized by an emphasis on language, known as the linguistic turn, and for its clarity and rigor in arguments, making use of formal logic and mathematics, and, to a lesser degree, the natural sciences.[2][3][4] It also takes things piecemeal, "an attempt to focus philosophical reflection on smaller problems that lead to answers to bigger questions."[5][6]

Analytic philosophy is often understood in contrast to other philosophical traditions, most notably continental philosophies such as existentialism, phenomenology, and Hegelianism.[7]