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Two kinds of ethics?

In his 1979 A Theory of the Good and the Right Richard Brandt writes: Historically philosophers have tried to answer the traditional questions about the good and the right in basically two ways. (Sometimes the two have been combined.) The first way is to rephrase these questions in terminology sufficiently clear and precise for one […]

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Was Derrida a pseudophilosopher or just a bad philosopher? (Part II)

In Part I I asked whether it’s more accurate to call Jacques Derrida the Tommy Wiseau of philosophy or the Milli Vanilli of philosophy, and quickly outlined an argument for the latter option. Quite a different view of what’s wrong with Derrida emerges from John Searle’s 1994 paper “Literary theory and its discontents”. Searle argues […]

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Metaphilosophy links #2

J. E. H. Smith: The History of Philosophy in Global Context: Three Case Studies. C. Churinga: The never-ending death of analytic philosophy. J. Wilson: The trolley problem problem. D. Little: Defining the philosophy of technology. A. Hui: In praise of aphorisms. T. Williamson: Popular Philosophy and Populist Philosophy. C. Churinga: On the very idea of […]

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Was Derrida a pseudophilosopher or just a bad philosopher? (Part I)

Some years ago Britan Leiter put up a poll on his blog asking: Which person do you most wish the media would stop referring to as a “philosopher”? The three choices were Ayn Rand, Jacques Derrida and Leo Strauss. I have very little familiarity with Strauss’s work, but as for Rand and Derrida, I think […]

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The myth of “the method of cases”

“This much should be uncontroversial: the method of cases plays an important role in contemporary philosophy” write David Colaço, Markus Kneer, Joshua Alexander and Édouard Machery. There are numerous articles and even entire books about the method of cases, many of them denouncing it as unreliable. What is remarkable about them is that they rarely […]

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The point of philosophy

Let’s have a look at another metaphilosophical remark of Russell’s, this time from The Philosophy of Logical Atomism: I am trying as far as possible again this time, as I did last time, to start with perfectly plain truisms. My desire and wish is that the things I start with should be so obvious that […]

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Metaphilosophy links #1

I’ve decided to create posts with links to recent metaphilosophy-related, non-peer-reviewed stuff I come across. Whenever I collect 7-8 items, there’ll be a new one. Enjoy. M. Arvan: Has philosophy made progress? C. Montiveros: How Philosophy Will Influence Technological Development. The best books on Philosophical Wonder, recommended by Eric Schwitzgebel. Interview by Nigel Warburton. The […]

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Williamson, Brock and others on philosophical progress

Recently on The Philosophers’ Cocoon there’s been an interesting discussion on the “no progress” accusation I mentioned in the previous post. It goes something like this: Take any major philosophical question you like. You’ll soon find out there are multiple theories, technical concepts and hair-splitting distinctions, dozens of arguments, replies to the arguments, replies to […]

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When does philosophy cease to be philosophy?

In The Problems of Philosophy Bertrand Russell writes: Philosophy, like all other studies, aims primarily at knowledge. The knowledge it aims at is the kind of knowledge which gives unity and system to the body of the sciences, and the kind which results from a critical examination of the grounds of our convictions, prejudices, and […]

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Intuitions as assumptions?

What I wrote about in the previous post is actually only a side issue in Tobia’s paper. His main point is that intuitions are used as evidence for and against philosophical theories, if “intuitions” are understood as “special kinds of philosophical assumptions, ones to which we are invited to assent that are suitable for argument […]