An Introduction to Metaphilosophy (Cambridge Introductions by Paul Gilbert, Søren Overgaard, Stephen Burwood

By Paul Gilbert, Søren Overgaard, Stephen Burwood

What's philosophy? How may still we do it? Why may still we trouble to? those are the categories of questions addressed via metaphilosophy - the philosophical examine of the character of philosophy itself. scholars of philosophy at the present time are confronted with a complicated and daunting array of philosophical tools, methods and types and likewise deep divisions akin to the infamous rift among analytic and Continental philosophy. This ebook takes readers via a whole diversity of methods - analytic as opposed to Continental, scientistic as opposed to humanistic, 'pure' as opposed to utilized - allowing them to find and comprehend those other ways of doing philosophy. truly and accessibly written, it's going to stimulate mirrored image on philosophical perform and should be worthwhile for college kids of philosophy and different philosophically prone readers.

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Philosophy as ‘edifying conversation’ The final metaphilosophical view we consider here is commonly associated with important figures of continental philosophy, perhaps Nietzsche and Derrida in particular, though arguably its clearest and most consistent advocate is Richard Rorty. According to the latter, ‘philosophy is not a name for a discipline which confronts permanent issues, and unfortunately keeps misstating them, or attacking them with clumsy dialectical instruments. 78 This view of philosophy is characteristic of what Rorty calls ‘edifying philosophers’, supposedly exemplified by Dewey, Heidegger and Wittgenstein, among others.

18 Hampshire appears to think his list is exhaustive insofar as the principal interest of philosophers is concerned, but this seems questionable. Certain branches of philosophy, arguably central to philosophy from the beginning, are hardly represented at all in Hampshire’s list, including the philosophy of mind (‘see’, ‘think’ and so on), logic (‘therefore’) and ­philosophical aesthetics (‘beauty’, ‘art’). But Hampshire’s fundamental intuition that there is some relatively limited number of notions that are, and always have been, central to what concerns philosophers – some ‘centre of gravity’, as we put it before – seems right.

All of science is in principle empirical, but the propositions of mathematics or logic 20 Ryle 1956. 21 Quine, in Magee 1982: 143. 22 Philosophy, Quine thinks, enjoys a similarly protected position in the web of science. Some, however, go further than Quine. So-called experimental philosophers explicitly regard philosophy as a straightforward part of empirical science and they cheerfully embrace the consequence that philosophy should be done using the established methods of empirical science. ) That the views of the experimental philosophers differ from those of Quine becomes clear once we confront the two parties with our test questions.

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