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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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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 ...
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8answers
2k 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 ...
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7answers
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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.
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4answers
552 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
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2answers
696 views

Where one should draw a line between X and Philosophy of X?

It seems clear to many scholars which issues belong to philosophy-of-X and which rather belong to X. And sometimes it is indeed obvious when some given issue is for example mathematical or physical ...
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5answers
2k views

Is there a flaw in Spinoza's argument about gender inequality?

Spinoza, the 17th century philosopher wrote in his Political Treatise (Chapter XI): "If by nature women were equal to men, and were equally distinguished by force of character and ability, in which ...
13
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6answers
2k views

Are there philosophical theories that are either confirmed or refuted by the majority of experts?

Do there exist any philosophical theories that have been either confirmed or refuted by the majority of experts? That is, confirmed or refuted such that a consensus has been established about the ...
13
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4answers
615 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.
13
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4answers
249 views

Are there clearly defined limits to philosophy?

How can you define the difference between for example Math and Philosophy and Sociology or Biology. What makes a philosophical question a philosophical question. Is this clearly defined?
11
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6answers
879 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 ...
10
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11answers
6k 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 ...
10
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3answers
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 ...
10
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1answer
355 views

How to implement the so called 'principle of charity'?

The 'principle of charity' has been considered of great importance especially in scholarly communication. It is not very clear, nonetheless, how the principle can be implemented, even in simple ...
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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
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9answers
1k views

Is our Philosophy, the Human Philosophy, the only possible Philosophy which can exist?

What I'm asking is if is there any possibility for a Non-human Philosophy, that is, a Philosophy founded on questions which we can't even conceive. Is possible a Philosophy of questions which only can ...
9
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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 ...
8
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3answers
231 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, ...
8
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4answers
291 views

Is philosophy about organizing our ignorance?

I am interested in B. Russell's quote: Science is what we know; philosophy is what we don't know. What is he saying here in terms of a definition of philosophy? In his sense, is that correct to ...
8
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3answers
268 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 (...
8
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2answers
205 views

Does doing comparative philosophy presuposse adopting cultural-relativism?

Assuming that there are several distinct philosophical traditions - say - Western, Chinese and Indian and that philosophers can actually compare the manner certain philosophical problems were handled ...
8
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3answers
160 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 ...
8
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6answers
356 views

Are we studying philosophy or philosophers?

In science, if one asks the question "What is the structure of DNA?", rarely will one get the answer "According to Watson and Crick, it's twin-helical". Similarly, a chemistry course does not begin by ...
8
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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. ...
8
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4answers
3k 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 ...
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4answers
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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 ...
7
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5answers
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What are some examples of solved philosophical problems?

Are there any examples of philosophical problems that have been solved? How can we know a proposed solution to a philosophical problem is correct? Examples of "philosophical problems": If a tree ...
7
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2answers
448 views

When is something necessary, according to Hume?

Something is necessary when it is fundamentally true in all contexts, this is what I've understood from what I've read regarding Hume's problem of induction. However, uniformities are not true in ...
7
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1answer
102 views

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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4answers
1k views

Modern Sophists?

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 ...
7
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6answers
1k views

What is the purpose of answers to metaphysical questions?

Generally speaking, metaphysics seems to deal with questions that cannot be verified empirically, which are thus beyond the understanding of science. Because of this I'm wondering whether the answers ...
6
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6answers
632 views

The difference between poetry and philosophy, and whether a quote can describe a philosophy

What is the key difference between philosophy and poetry? Can a quote be identified as poetic with a philosophical idea hidden within it? For example Albert Einstein once said: Imagination is more ...
6
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4answers
447 views

Is 'meaning of life' a recent topic in philosophy?

Thaddeus Metz states in 'Meaning in Life' (2014) that: And a thorough search by professional philosophers has not been undertaken long at all, having begun in earnest only in the 1980s or so. ...
6
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2answers
200 views

Is formal education required to fully grasp (academic/analytic) philosophy?

If a person has access to all the readings but lack (peer/mentor)-interaction under formal setting (e.g: university, cutting-edge seminar...) is this study likely doomed to fail? (e.g: lead to an ...
6
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1answer
431 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.
6
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1answer
128 views

Implication of Rorty's concession to Ramberg that true statements “get things right”?

Richard Rorty (1932-2008) was the paradigmatic deflationist re the concept “truth.” He was an epistemic naturalist and historicist, an instrumental pragmatist, anti-realist/essentialist, and ...
6
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2answers
212 views

Philosophy of Philosophy and Experience [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the practical use of philosophy? Does philosophy move us toward a deeper understanding of the human condition, or does philosophy push us away from understanding the ...
6
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2answers
92 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
388 views

If there is progress in philosophy, Why is there no philosophers or thinkers as important today as in the past? [closed]

Why don't we have thinkers in the present time (or recent times) that have the same caliber as Albert Einstein, Archimedes, Socrates, Shakespeare, Freud, Aristotle, Plato, Darwin, Popper and all the ...
5
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7answers
216 views

What am I missing in texts that say things that are so obvious as to seem pointless?

I'm currently taking a course in early modern philosophy. The focus is on psychology, morality, and aesthetics. I've taken philosophy courses in the past, but I'm having a lot of trouble with this one,...
5
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3answers
220 views

What kind of philospher believes many philospical issues can be reduced to defining words?

I will take Fatalism vs Compatibilism as an example. I hold that the only difference between them is the definition of free will. Namely, I prefer the Compatibilistic definition, that free will is ...
5
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4answers
228 views

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)....
5
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3answers
484 views

Aren't rational thinkers falling a prey to a logical fallacy?

All rational thinkers would clearly know that in a series of arguments anything that appeals to faith would be considered a fallacy. Yet the rational process itself (the belief that arguments based ...
5
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2answers
156 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 ...
5
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2answers
435 views

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 ...
5
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5answers
279 views

What are the standards for good and bad philosophy?

In general (not restricted to this site), what counts as a good philosophical explanation? Are there any objective standards?
5
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2answers
291 views

How would you describe the relationship of science and philosophy of science?

How would you describe the relationship of science and philosophy of science? Is it a worldview that sets a tone to scientific jargon? I mean that statements of eg. physics are under submission of the ...
5
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3answers
272 views

Philosophical responses to possible biases in the philosophical canon?

Philosophy is supposedly universal, but nearly all of the accepted western philosophical canon has been created by affluent white European men. Are there (canonical) philosophers who have directly ...
5
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3answers
328 views

What are some good introductions to analytic ontology?

What is/are the best introduction(s) of analytic ontology? I know about a book written by Edmund Runggaldier ‎and Christian Kanzian but still I don't have it. I would like to read clear, simple ...
5
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7answers
324 views

Does everything which can be figured out through observation disqualify as philosophy?

Does a scientific question which we have not yet had the resources or time to answer scientifically classify as philosophically relevant? Or does everything which can be figured out through ...
4
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5answers
296 views

Role of Science [closed]

I have often read people on Physics.SE (and on many other sites) say that the role of physics is only to provide a good description of nature. For example, we don't ask questions like 'why does x ...