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What Is Philosophy? by C.P. Ragland, Ms. Sarah Heidt

By C.P. Ragland, Ms. Sarah Heidt

During this stimulating booklet, six best philosophers-Karl-Otto Apel, Robert Brandom, Karsten Harries, Martha Nussbaum, Barry Stroud, and Allen Wood-consider the character of philosophy. even supposing every one of them has a different standpoint, all of them appear to agree that philosophy seeks to discover hidden assumptions and ideas so that it will reveal them to severe scrutiny. it really is hence totally becoming that philosophers may still learn their very own assumptions concerning the nature in their self-discipline. As they delve into the character of philosophy, the authors handle many desirable matters: what makes philosophy diverse from normal technology, faith, and different branches of the arts; even if philosophy can give a contribution to political transformation, and if this is the case, how; no matter if there can ever be an "end of philosophy"; and extra. The editors' creation ties jointly the participants' different views by way of noting universal issues, similarities, and alterations.

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What Is Philosophy?

During this stimulating ebook, six best philosophers-Karl-Otto Apel, Robert Brandom, Karsten Harries, Martha Nussbaum, Barry Stroud, and Allen Wood-consider the character of philosophy. even supposing each one of them has a special standpoint, all of them appear to agree that philosophy seeks to discover hidden assumptions and ideas so one can disclose them to serious scrutiny.

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E. M. Anscombe (New York: Macmillan, 1953), §133. 4. , §255· 5. Christopher Ricks, T. S. Eliot and Prejudice (London: Faber and Faber, 1994), 21, 90. 2. G. E. Moore, "Autobiography," in Barry Stroud { 46 } 2 Philosophy in Search ofItself Karsten Harries hat is philosophy? The question suggests a certain uneasiness on the part ofphilosophers. " Artists, on the other hand, today are even more preoccupied than philosophers with just what it is they are doing. Does the very title of our symposium then suggest that in important ways philosophy today is closer to art than to astronomy?

But the university now is the place where philosophy thrives. This strikes me as both a good and a bad thing. It is bad because, as the university becomes increasingly professionalized, it has increasingly professionalized philosophy. This, in my opinion, has rendered much more of philosophy sterile, empty, and boring. What institutions demand from individuals, institutions get. And what universities, even the best universities, now demand from individual professors, on the whole, is quantity of publication, frequency of citation in the professional literature, widely certified distinction in the profession, and other quantifiable measures of an impressive resume.

By now, for us, it is hard to think of any place other than a university where that might be done-at least systematically What Is Philosophy? { 29 } and communally. That was not always so. The university has not been with us as long as philosophy has. But the age of royal or aristocratic patronage-or any form ofprivate patronage-is behind us. Much work now being done in philosophy is supported by forms of social patronage other than the university. Resources that could obviously be put to pressing social uses sometimes go to philosophers.

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