as I read the history of western philosophy up to early nineteenth century, I have a feeling that the philosophy is somehow "making progress" over this long period. Not that philosophers have reached some agreement over basic issues, but at least over time philosophers have managed to make it clearer what is been disputed, and generally philosophers built up their theories in full recognition of what has already been said by previous philosophers.
However, when I read the history of western philosophy in twentieth century, I cannot help but get a sense of retrogression. I don't mean philosophy retrogressed in every aspect, but I really think some philosophers in twentieth century should have better understanding over the issues they brought up if they are aware what has been discussed in history.
For example, there is still fierce dispute between realism and phenomenalism, but haven't Kant answered already how is it possible that we can cognize the world? Surely not everyone would agree on Kant's notions like things-in-themselves or apriori synthetic judgement, but at least Kant has pointed out that that our knowledges come from experience and that our minds play an active role in our cognitive activity are two facts that can coexist. So why it never occurred to the disputers that what really differentiated realism and phenomenalism is verbal usage of "existence" or "real" and nothing more? People naturally apply different criteria to the word "exist" in different situation, so we simply admit that trees and tables do exist in everyday conversation, but that doesn't imply that when we read a mathematical book beginning with "suppose there exists a $2$-dimensional manifold" we would automatically say the author is a Platonist, or when we read a article on cognitive science explaining how our brains "objectify" the world we would claim it conflicts with our ontological beliefs. Why would some philosophers keep ignoring such simple facts even in twentieth century?
Another example the famous dispute on "whether knowledges are justified true beliefs", I never understand the obsession of philosophers to discuss this particular question, somehow they don't bother to ask "what is the definition of existence" or "what is the definition of truth", but they insist on giving a definition to the word "knowledge" (well, as far as I know, Heidegger tried hard to find an answer to "what is existence", but his way of trying to answer this question surely is not to give a accurate definition of "existence"), though I seriously doubt two philosophers who disagree on "what is knowledge" would likely reach an agreement on "what is justifying". But anyway, I'd think Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations" should force these philosophers to doubt if this is a meaningful question, maybe we don't use the word "knowledge" consistently, maybe we could only find some family-resemblence among the meanings of "knowledge" used in different circumstances, maybe it's too hasty to assume all these different uses "converge" to one point or there is an essence underlying all these meanings, and most importantly, maybe philosophers don't use the world "knowledge" in an everyday sense. However, seems this "justified true beliefs" debate remain lively throughout the century, and there are even some philosophers made some discoveries using "experimental method" that are awkward to "traditional philosophers". But what makes me feel awkward is not what this "revolutionary" "experimental method" has disclosed, but what this whole "justified true beliefs" debate has disclosed: namely the complete ignorance of the worked by their predecessors. I don't mean they should all agree with Wittgenstein's position, but at least I'd expect in their debate they should taken Wittgenstein's question into consideration.
I admit that philosophy is not my major and I have barely scratched the surface of those philosophical debate I just mentioned. But my feeling of disappointment is so intense that I can't stand to go on reading more details. Reding history of philosophy was fun to me, but after I reached twentieth century, the more I read the stronger I feel I'm just wasting my time. So I post this question, hoping someone could me settle my confusion: are there really many naïve philosophers in recent times as they appear to me, or am I missing some important points?