By Overgaard, Søren; Burwood, Stephen; Gilbert, Paul

ISBN-10: 0521175984

ISBN-13: 9780521175982

ISBN-10: 0521193419

ISBN-13: 9780521193412

ISBN-10: 1107313805

ISBN-13: 9781107313804

What's philosophy? How should still we do it? Why may still we trouble to? those are the categories of questions addressed through metaphilosophy - the philosophical research of the character of philosophy itself. scholars of philosophy at the present time are confronted with a complicated and daunting array of philosophical equipment, ways and types and in addition deep divisions similar to the infamous rift among analytic and Continental philosophy. This publication takes readers via an entire variety of ways - analytic as opposed to Continental, scientistic as opposed to humanistic, 'pure' as opposed to utilized - permitting them to find and comprehend those other ways of doing philosophy. sincerely and accessibly written, it is going to stimulate mirrored image on philosophical perform and may be helpful for college kids of philosophy and different philosophically prone readers

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23 24 What is philosophy? Much more can be said in answer to the descriptive question of what philosophers qua philosophers actually do, and we should not overlook the fact that what philosophers are prepared to count as philosophy is often influenced by their view of what they themselves are doing, so that they see in others affinities with that or radical differences from it. But philosophers generally tend to be more interested in the prescriptive question of what philosophy ought to be. It is with this question that we will be concerned in the remainder of this chapter.

There will always be a variety of answers to such problems and which will prevail at any time will depend upon those specific circumstances. Thus, ‘if one faction succeeds in presenting its side victoriously, the argument is only temporarily resolved. 77 This kind of explanation of the lack of progress chimes in with next type of prescriptive account of philosophy we consider. But it is not the only one available to world view philosophers, who could also hold either that the problems philosophers face themselves change over time or that the resources philosophers bring to enduring problems from other areas of culture change in a non-cumulative way, as, for instance, with the decline in religious belief or a widening of moral sympathies.

To mention one final possibility, it does not seem that the once celebrated idea that philosophy has some special interest in our ‘concepts’ (or ‘conceptual scheme’)16 indicates a topic shared by all philosophers either. 17 The truth, then, lies probably somewhere in the middle. There are no ‘eternal fences’ to be erected, nor should we assume without further ado that ‘philosophy’ is merely a convenient catalogue label for booksellers and librarians. In particular, the suggestion that philosophy has some special interest in the fundamental questions about the world and our place in it might perhaps point to a certain ‘centre of gravity’ of philosophy, then as well as now.

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An introduction to metaphilosophy by Overgaard, Søren; Burwood, Stephen; Gilbert, Paul


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