By Tom Sorell, G. A. J. Rogers
Philosophy written in English is overwhelmingly analytic philosophy, and the thoughts and predilections of analytic philosophy aren't simply unhistorical yet anti-historical, and antagonistic to textual statement. Analytic often aspires to a truly excessive measure of readability and precision of formula and argument, and it usually seeks to be told through, and in step with, present usual technology. In an previous period, analytic philosophy aimed toward contract with usual linguistic intuitions or logic ideals, or either. All of those elements of the topic take a seat uneasily with using historic texts for philosophical illumination. during this ebook, ten special philosophers discover the tensions among, and the chances of reconciling, analytic philosophy and historical past of philosophy. participants: M. R. Ayers, John Cottingham, Daniel Garber, Gary Hatfield, Anthony Kenny, Steven Nadler, G. A. J. Rogers, Tom Sorell, Catherine Wilson, Yves Charles Zarka
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Extra info for Analytic Philosophy and History of Philosophy (Mind Association Occasional)
23, 24, 32, 33. 30 John Cottingham science, as an isolated, purely rational endeavour answerable only to timeless logic and objective empirical evidence. In other words, we need to recognize (as much recent philosophy of science from Kuhn onwards has of course done) how much the given understandings of the natural world in any epoch owe to the human cultural environment, and how mistaken it is to consider even the specialized and technical disciplines of modern natural science in isolation from the historical tradition of which they are a part.
In between metaphysics and political philosophy stand ethics and philosophy of mind: here, both dangers threaten with roughly equal force. Must a philosopher be a historian of philosophy? Not all the time: it is wrong to think of philosophy as being nothing more than the study of the philosophical canon. But it is a great advantage to a philosopher to have a knowledge of the subject’s history. It will provide her with examples of best practice. It will free her from the temptation to reinvent a philosophical wheel (especially in cases which show that the wheel in question turned out to be square).
There is a strangeness in Descartes, a passionate commitment to a theocentric world-view that sets him light-years apart from the concerns of most modern analytic philosophers; but a sense of this strangeness is not provided by reading the historical texts, it is a result of reading the historical texts from a certain perspective—namely, one that prescinds from our modern preoccupations. So generating a distance, or strangeness, or sense of perspective, cannot really be proposed as an argument for the study of history of philosophy, since it turns out to be something that is required in the ﬁrst place in order for historical study to disclose its riches.