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Questions tagged [metaphilosophy]

Metaphilosophy is the philosophical study of philosophy itself — its goals, methods, scope, and relationship to other intellectual disciplines or human projects.

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Is there really a “right” answer?

If Philosophy is a broad subject, and each and everyone of us have different beliefs, perspective, how do you guys actually deem an "answer" the right one in this site? Is it because what the "right" ...
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Does Psychology benefit Philosophy?

This question got me thinking: It is widely held that Philosophy precedes the Sciences, birthing them. and continue to inform them. It is also evident that there are times when science has informed ...
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How can I do my philosophy privately and independently? [closed]

I'm an Indian currently in class 12th which means after this year I shall be able to enter university. I'm 16 years old. I want to do philosophy without anyone and the main reason being alone is that ...
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Can you adequately discuss Philosophy, without _doing_ philosophy?

NOT the Meta question. But In order to convey a philosophical idea, a speaker must regularly interpret an original work. Not only that, but subsequent to the all to frequent 'discussion', he must ...
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Can philosophy make predictions? [closed]

Philosophy, one may state, is a field where one makes descriptive statements about the world - whether it's in ethics, metaphysics, logic, or any other philosophical study. For example "the world is ...
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Can / Should Philosophy be made more 'accessible'?

Metallica and Philosophy: A Crash Course in Brain Surgery edited by William Irwin "...metal up your ass!" - I kid you not, that's a quote from a purportedly serious philosophical work (ref. above)....
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How are the assumptions underlying logic chosen?

Logic works based on certain assumptions about its rules. How are these axiomatic assumptions selected in the first place, given that a system of logic does not exist prior to the point of selection? ...
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Does Philosophy benefit from parsimony?

It is well established doctrine to apply Occam's razor to scientific theoretical development. The basis for which may range over the demonstrated practical success of the principle, to a vocational/...
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Are there degrees of rationality/plausibility to assumptions?

There are many kinds of premises, in every possible field. I'll limit this question to metaphysics, although it can definitely be applied to each and every scientific/philosophical study. For example,...
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How do I know the philosophy I'm going to read is something new for me and not just a waste of time?

I know it may sound like I'm thinking of myself as I already know everything within philosophy, every problem and every response. When I was 15 reading it could be interesting. However now, most ...
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Moral skepticism and “walking the talk”

It would seem that a substantial minority of philosophers agree with the moral anti-realist position that we have a problem going from "is" to "ought"--that there is no objective correlate of the ...
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Do all “meta” questions within philosophy reduce to descriptive and normative?

At first, under "meta" I, of course, mean such things as metaphilosophy, metaethics, and some other "metas" trying to answer the questions "What is X?", "What properties does X have?", etc. And this ...
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Did any philosophers in the middle ages and before tackle depression or suicide?

Extremely weird question, I know, But were any philosophers in the middle ages and before tackle topics such as depression and suicide? I mean we see them tackle happiness and living happily, but were ...
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What makes epistemology unscientific?

Epistemology is called a branch of philosophy and not science. There are several epistemic theories some of which actually were mainstream sometimes. But it appears that, for example, some of them ...
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Can myth be a part of philosophy?

There are many ancient myths regarding cosmology which have their descriptions of reality including those which are seemingly directly unobservable to us. For example, what is outside of our universe? ...
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What's the difference between philosophy and academic philosophy? [closed]

What's the difference between Philosophy and academic philosophy, simple, yet so complex? Philosophy is the act of studying reality, knowledge etc. Yet in academic philosophy, you aren't studying ...
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if philosophy didn't exist nor did psychology, could we prove that we think?

if philosophy and psychology didn't exist, could humans be able to prove that we think and are capable of coming up with inventions, I mean we create things because we need them(that used to be the ...
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Why was the creation of philosophy so important to contributions in science and human development? [closed]

Why was the creation of philosophy so important to us humans? After all, we are curious and we always want answers, and philosophy was a field of thinking that helped develop sciences. But how did the ...
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Was philosophy/philosophers involved in any revolutions?

Many philosophers were critical thinkers and were aware of what was happening in the world around them, meaning that they could recognize government corruption. Socrates was revolutionary, not only in ...
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Were any pre-Socratic philosophers interested in building schools/academies?

Plato, as a lot of people know created the Platonic Academy, which focused on teaching many subjects, but didn't any pre-Socratic philosophers think of making an academy/school for teaching subjects ...
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How does philosophy advance despite irreconcilable background assumptions (“positions”) on every topic?

In philosophy there are always, and on almost everything, many "positions", many different possibilities to choose from, and there isn't mainly some decisive conclusion between positions as to what's "...
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Have philosophers neglected human obligations to other animals?

A lot of philosophers only philosophized about humans and how we live, although interested in biology they didn't give too much attention to animals and other beings. (Yes, they philosophized about ...
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Is metaphysics completely subjective?

A little bit of background: As some of you may have noticed, my main interest in philosophy is of metaphysics. I've studied philosophy in a very postmodern environment; but contra to the people ...
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Can physics be approached from a worldview that's not naturalistic?

This is both a theoretical and practical question. Physics (at least university-taught physics) is often based upon Newton's basic worldview, a naturalistic worldview that's said to be the ...
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What does it take to answer a philosophical question?

I apologize in advance if my question should be discussed on Philosophy Meta, but when thinking about the question I couldn't decide whether it would be appropriate there. Thinking about the ...
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How did Plato believe that our senses aren't to be trusted?

Plato, believed that we can't trust our senses to show us the true form of an object. It didn't make any sense to me, because after all, science hasn't yet proven if you see something after your ...
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Aren't all children philosophers? [closed]

As described by writer Jostein Gaarder in his book Sophie's World, to philosophize is to be astonished by things in nature around us, and we can always see children always surprised of things ...
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What does it take for someone to be recognized as a philosopher [closed]

So, the other day i was wondering, what does it take to become a recognized philosopher? Perhaps wisdom? Perhaps the ability to think? Perhaps I need academic education? I couldn't quite find an ...
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Is the confusion about philosophy's place in the academia a result of the analytic movement?

First, let's state that obviously there will be those who'll say "what confusion" (by confusion I mean for example questions like "what philosophy has to do with science"), and for them I'll start ...
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How can we tell when a practical philosophy practice is “philosophical” or “mystical”?

I've been thinking lately of the fact that a lot of people, many intellectuals included, pretty much dismiss of any kind of "mysticistic" practice. I'll put the general definition from Wikipedia for "...
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Alternatives to Russell Bertrand's “History of Western Philosophy”

Do you know of any good alternatives to this book that give a wide representation of Western Philosophy? Are there any good books that give a history of Eastern Philosophy?
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Pendulum Theory / Cyclical Theory in Philosophy?

In political science, the Cyclical Theory states that societal attitudes (Liberal-Conservative spectrum) move like a pendulum moving from one extreme to the other. Are there any philosophers who ...
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Is Philosophy simply the appreciation of wise thoughts?

I was reading a post called "Why Do Philosophers Ignore Ayn Rand?" by John David Ward, and the author stated the following: "Philosophy is basically about the appreciation of wise thoughts, not the ...
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Can a parable be hegemonic in post modernism? [closed]

My friend claims that in post modernism no art or philosophy can be hegemonic, but is not a moral relativist. So what about the expression of a moral in a parable. I would guess, in a rush, no.
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Are there criteria for good philosophy ? If so, what are they ?

My own criterion is maximal coherence. A philosophy which gives most answers that are mutually consistent. This is as far as I can get. I have made the attempt. Can anyone take my endeavour further -...
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Examples of scientific progress revolutionizing philosophic thought?

The role of paradigm shifts in understanding is often discussed in the context of scientific progress. What are some prime examples of scientific progress initiating paradigm shifts in religion/...
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Is philosophy considered mainly as ethics in modern society (mainly in the public perception)?

I might be very wrong in my judgment here, so correct me if I'm wrong, that's just what I'm getting from reading and hearing the every-day talk about philosophy (news, small talks, etc). It seems as ...
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When does metaphysics stop being speculation?

Metaphysics is one of the broadest branches in philosophy, with questions about the nature of the world, with sub-branches within it such as ontology, epistemology and more. I'd like to ask a ...
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Are there any limits to a priori research except imagination?

Philosophers through history have done many researches on "a priori" concepts and ideas, the most influential one today might be Kant, but of course many influential philosophers have taken such ...
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Questions on non-ontology

Ontology is one of the best known and most important branches of metaphysics - the study of "things", of "beings", or of "what there is" (in oppose to what "there isn't"). I have a few questions ...
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Can a philosophical question be ultimately rendered “non-question”?

I sometimes hear claims about philosophical questions and debates that claim to render such questions as "non-question" (a related example, while not exactly a question, will be Steven Novella calling ...
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Can we do anything we want in philosophy?

This is maybe kind of an odd question, and it's related to my metaphysics controversies question. In philosophy (to be honest mostly in metaphysics, but also in philosophy as a whole), it seems like ...
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Can a philosophy based only on “how” questions?

There's a popular distinction between the "why" and "how" questions (especially popular nowadays in popular science) - the main argument is that while "how" questions can give us not only meaningful, ...
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What do philosophers make of intractable metaphysical controversies?

In philosophy metaphysical debates are quite popular - all the "-ism"s are fighting one another. And many give good insights for every side of every debate. This seems like it can't be stopped, ever, ...
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Contemporary philosophy of nature?

In the history of philosophy it's a well-known fact that philosophy of nature has separated from philosophy and moved to science as "natural science" in the late 19th century. My question is, are ...
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Can postmodernism conclude we should use philosophy/science only as tools to help us live better, rather than search for the nature of the universe?

A long title. Postmodernism is known for its post-truth ideas, that there's no objective truth that we can even wish to discover, or that it even matter. An idea came to me - if we do take a ...
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The line between science and philosophy - current status

(I know some will reject the idea of having a "line" between science and philosophy, but I don't want these answers, let's assume there is.) We often draw a line between science and philosophy that ...
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Why do we seek to “limit” our scope for the search after truth?

In philosophy and science, we quite often make systematic approaches that limits our thoughts to be as accurate as possible. Examples are endless - basically every logical system, every ...
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Is it a category error to apply Popper's idea of ad hocness to what isn't empirically verifiable?

Is it a category error to apply Popper's idea of ad hocness to what isn't empirically verifiable? I ask just because this seems to be the motive in a lot of friendly discussion: the idea that your ...
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What is postanalytic philosophy?

I came across a reference to the postanalytic philosophy today, and I'm wondering what exactly that is. Is it related (if not it itself) to postmodern philosophy? What are the main ideas behind it? ...