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

By Paul Gilbert, Søren Overgaard, Stephen Burwood

What's philosophy? How should still we do it? Why may still we trouble to? those are the categories of questions addressed by means of metaphilosophy - the philosophical learn 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 likewise deep divisions reminiscent of the infamous rift among analytic and Continental philosophy. This e-book takes readers via an entire diversity of ways - analytic as opposed to Continental, scientistic as opposed to humanistic, 'pure' as opposed to utilized - allowing them to find and comprehend those alternative ways of doing philosophy. sincerely and accessibly written, it's going to stimulate mirrored image on philosophical perform and may be necessary for college students of philosophy and different philosophically vulnerable readers.

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Extra resources for An Introduction to Metaphilosophy (Cambridge Introductions to Philosophy)

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Does this not imply that we are all doing philosophy the wrong way? Philosophy, on this view, ought to be a science, but one gets the impression from the way most philosophers continue to practise it that it is a very different enterprise. And just why has two millennia of concerted efforts by some of the greatest minds of humankind failed to change this unfortunate state of affairs? Colin McGinn has defended a metaphilosophical position at the philosophy-as-science end of the spectrum, which has replies to these worries.

The reason for making the first assumption is that when someone suggests how philosophy ought to be done it is philosophy he or she is talking about, and this is different from the suggestion that we should do something that would not count as philosophy at all. So consider someone who suggested that football would be better played without goalkeepers. One’s reply would be that this might be an interesting game, no doubt providing many more goals, but that it would not be football. Similarly with philosophy: overly radical departures from accepted practice would produce 25 26 What is philosophy?

The right conclusion to draw here seems to be that we will need more than just two large groups of views – ‘philosophy-as-science’ versus ‘philosophy-as-distinct-from-science’ views. In fact, as we shall see, the most common metaphilosophical views vary along a continuum between two extremes: the idea of philosophy as ­literally a part of natural science at one end, and at the other the view that philosophy is an altogether different enterprise – not just separate from natural science, but not a cognitive discipline at all.

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