By Paul Gilbert, Søren Overgaard, Stephen Burwood

What's philosophy? How may still we do it? Why should still we hassle 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 in addition deep divisions resembling the infamous rift among analytic and Continental philosophy. This ebook takes readers via an entire diversity of techniques - 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. essentially and accessibly written, it's going to stimulate mirrored image on philosophical perform and should be precious for college students of philosophy and different philosophically susceptible readers.

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

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67 To phrase it slightly differently, transcendental philosophers reflect on our (first-order) knowledge with a view to unveiling the ‘conditions of possibility’ of such knowledge. On the views of many continental philosophers, what sets philosophy fundamentally apart from the empirical sciences is precisely that the former essentially is – that is, ought to be – transcendental inquiry into the conditions of possibility underlying ordinary and scientific experience and inquiry. Like other views that portray philosophy as distinct from science, this view is not embarrassed by the apparent lack of progress in philosophy in comparison with science.

So while proposals for new methods may, of course, be made, they should not have the effect of disqualifying all that has gone before. The reason for the second assumption is less obvious. After all, not so long ago, some philosophers heralded ‘the revolution in philosophy’,20 which they hoped would overcome the alleged sterility of the subject. So it would be wrong to assume that philosophers always resign themselves to conceding that their subject never makes any progress. Rather, when they suggest how philosophy should be practised we expect them to be able to say why previous ways of practising it were unproductive.

The prescriptive question, we then went on to suggest, has been answered in myriad ways, a number of which we attempted to locate on a continuum between the view that philosophy is literally part of science, at one end, and the idea that it is not a cognitive enterprise of any sort, at the other. Along the way, we briefly suggested some problems the various views might face, but most of the metaphilosophical theses broached will be subjected to more in-depth discussion in later chapters. 82 This is Charles Griswold’s (2002: 157) description of what Rorty and Derrida’s recommendation amounts to from a Socratic perspective.

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