Questions tagged [metaphilosophy]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
70
votes
12answers
17k views

Can you prove anything in philosophy?

I don't understand philosophy very well, and so I am wondering whether you can "prove" anything in philosophy. It always seems you can go a layer down, and find another question, almost endlessly ...
24
votes
7answers
1k views

What is Philosophy? [closed]

What is a comprehensive definition of Philosophy? Alternatively, is it impossible to define Philosophy? This is a pseudo-meta question, but it seems like it belongs here.
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it thought that analytic philosophy is in decline after the linguistic turn?

I would like to know from someone who has closely followed contemporary analytic philosophy if this idea has any currency. So by "is it thought" I mean is it a general trend or mood. The reason for ...
4
votes
3answers
393 views

What happens to a philosophical question when it is solved for good?

I was reading the introduction to a general philosophy text book, and it mentioned at some point that philosophy was like science in that concrete results are established and philosophers are able to ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

Does a philosopher need much knowledge of mathematical/formal logic?

I am not a philosopher but I would like to ask this question. I know that there are philosophers like Hobbes, Locke or Foucault, who excel in the areas of ethics, political philosophy and aesthetics. ...
5
votes
3answers
314 views

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, ...
30
votes
8answers
3k views

Why should I read about philosophy?

I'm not sure this question belongs here. It's clearly an open-ended question that probably does not have a canonical answer. I would like to ask you to help me restate this question in a better way if ...
17
votes
4answers
592 views

Is Philosophy formalisable?

This is something that has irked me for quite some time, especially since I come from a mathematically oriented background. Can the field of Philosophy be formalised in the sense that Mathematics is ...
17
votes
8answers
6k views

How is Philosophy related to Science?

I asked this question about Scientism and the answers there quite brilliantly explained to me why Scientism is philosophically inconsistent. But I just want to know: What is the relationship between ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Can a philosopher philosophize without logic?

Logic, which I mean as the system or subject not the adjective; like modal propositional logic, etc., and not an adjective stating rationality, sense of thinking, common sense, etc. Perhaps we all ...
14
votes
4answers
719 views

“→” is the symbol for material implication. Is there such a thing as “immaterial implication”?

Why do we qualify "implication" with "material"? This seems to imply that there are other kinds of implication.
3
votes
3answers
441 views

Fundamental Questions of Contemporary Philosophy

In John Searles 'Making the Social World" (2010), the chapter 'the purpose of this book' starts with declaring the following question as a fundamental question of contemporary philosophy: How, if ...
2
votes
3answers
146 views

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 "...
1
vote
4answers
554 views

What can suffice as a scientific proof for God? to what domain can such a proof belong to? [closed]

"Scientific" theories require proof, and there are certain guidelines and standards for the proofs to be acceptable to the "scientific" community in that domain (Algebra, Computer Science, etc.). ...
10
votes
11answers
7k views

Does philosophy belong to empirical science or formal science?

According to Wikipedia, science can be divided into empirical science (such as natural science and social science) and formal science (such as mathematics, logic, statistics). I was wondering if ...
5
votes
1answer
532 views

How do psychoanalysts like Freud and Lacan interpret the concept of “proof”?

How do psychoanalysts interpret the epistemological concept of "proof" in their theoretical work? Not necessarily of psychoanalysis.
10
votes
3answers
1k views

What hierarchies exist in different branches of Philosophy?

If you were to map out different branches of Philosophy in a hierarchical nature on multiple levels in order to compare them what would some look like or could you point me to a reference that sorts ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

Modern Sophists? [closed]

I was wondering if in professional philosophy there are modern sophists. That is, people who have no qualms publishing on both sides of an issue, perhaps not being able to themselves come to ...
8
votes
11answers
3k views

What is the logical distinction between “the same” and “equal to?”

We all understand that Given A = C, and B = C, Then A = B. However, A is not “the same as” B. Example: A is the question, “What animals have feathers and can fly?” B is the question, “What was the ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

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 ...
9
votes
4answers
6k views

What, if any, are the differences between materialism and empiricism?

Are the differences, if they exist merely semantic ("First World War" vs "World War One") or are they more substantial; for example one's a historical trend and the other's a broader philosophical ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

What is the distinction between mysticism and metaphysics?

Mysticism and Metaphysics seem to share immediate similarity: both amount to sort of speculations pertaining to capture universal truth that cannot be confirmed nor refuted by the senses. What is the ...
7
votes
3answers
199 views

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 ...
5
votes
2answers
193 views

What is the order of questions?

I have heard the importance of "The order of questions" mentioned a few times by for example Bernard Stiegler in one of his seminars. I am working on a Phd, and it is being drummed into me framing the ...
4
votes
2answers
120 views

Do you need to know what philosophy is to study it?

Do you need to know what philosophy is to study it? The question was prompted by one about literature, but I'll ask here. Poets tell me that you need to know what post-modernism and modernism are to ...
3
votes
4answers
1k views

Is the question: why there is something rather than nothing?, the root of all philosophy?

I'm new to philosophy so bear with me. I've been reading Martin Heidegger (An introduction to metaphysics). In the book he claims that the question of why there is something rather than nothing is ...
1
vote
2answers
281 views

Can you adequately discuss Philosophy, without doing philosophy?

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 interpret the listener's point ...
-2
votes
1answer
128 views

To what extent are the concerns of philosophy divorced from those of real life? [closed]

There's a thread that asks whether the slogan "guns don't kill people, people kill people" is a valid argument. I'd like to have answered it, but couldn't because I don't have enough mojo here. Yet ...
8
votes
4answers
4k views

Tomatoes, Wisdom and Intelligence?

A lighthearted topic after I came across this funny quote: Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing not to put tomatoes in a fruit salad. This had me wondering what ...
7
votes
6answers
503 views

What is the goal and toolset of philosophy?

I'm beginning to realize that I might have misconseptions about philosophy in general. Is it to question and contend indefinitely or is there a goal? I thought the goal was truth. While I'm at it, ...
4
votes
3answers
288 views

What are the criteria by which we could determine whether some field is philosophy rather than wisdom?

There is a sub-field of philosophy called 'comparative philosophy' - it deals with philosophical themes by comparing how those themes were accounted for throughout history by Western and non-Western (...
3
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the basis for answering philosophical questions?

This may come off weird, but I'm new to the subject of philosophy. In many aspects it seems to be fully theoretical and based on subjective perceptions of truth. So what can be a basis for answering ...
3
votes
5answers
568 views

Are the Efforts to Fuse Philosophy and Pop Culture Superficial?

The state of our aesthetic and consumer-based economy has brought philosophy to a transitional stage at many levels. Many wonder what will be its future or where philosophy should go from here. It is ...
2
votes
2answers
89 views

Philosophy of the lymphatic system

If neurophilosophy is a legitimate from of philosophy why don’t we have philosophies pertaining to various other sub-personal processes/systems: autonomic, vestibular, and proprioceptive? Why not ...
2
votes
4answers
471 views

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 ...
1
vote
1answer
195 views

How does philosophy study the world?

From the definition from Wikipedia: Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. ...
1
vote
3answers
180 views

What standards exist for developing a philosophical model?

Coming from the natural sciences, I typically see a scientific model as follows: A scientific model takes all available evidence and attempts to ascribe a relating structure to all this information ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

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 ...
1
vote
7answers
670 views

Is arguing pro choice because “a woman has the right to control her body” invalid?

Is arguing pro choice because "a woman has the right to control her body" (very obviously) invalid? Says so here, that the argument already assumes that the conclusion of the whole debate, namely ...
0
votes
2answers
266 views

Can a certain branch of philosophy exist and be discussed independently from other branches? [closed]

To be more clearer with the question let us compare for this instance sociology to philosophy, both being a broad subject. Sociology has many branches including political science, psychology, ...