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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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 ...
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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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If little philosophical consensus could be reached, could philosophy be defined as a negative study?

This is just a very random idea that came across my mind. I wish to have this unlearned opinion judged by a more academically rigorous community. I was thinking the other day that, since very little ...
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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 ...
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Usefulness of 'Knowledge'

I am typically interested in finding out the interrelationships as regards knowledge per se and its applications. Typically, I see this interesting phenomenon of the difficulty of proving theorems in ...
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Physicalist platonism?

Two results of the PhilPapers Survey: Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism? Accept or lean toward: Platonism 366 / 931 (39.3%) Accept or lean toward: nominalism 351 / 931 (37.7%) ...
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Can a question be bullshit?

In his essay On Bullshit Frankfurt writes: The fact about himself that the bullshitter hides, on the other hand, is that the truth-values of his statements are of no ...
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Attitudes of modern philosophers about Aristotle

On the one hand, Aristotle is held in high regard by modern philosophers. For example, in the PhilPapers survey, Aristotle comes second after Hume in the list of "Non-living philosophers most ...
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Why should one philosophize instead of acting?

I was recently discussing the idea of beauty with one of my colleagues and how beauty should be defined. He brought up the fact that nowadays many beauty standards are set by the media, which ...
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The scope of Analytic discussion about sentences

Kripke and Quine argue both for 2 different ideas (about which I will write shortly) but their objectives are common - to say something about the nature of sentences. Yet, It seems to me like they don'...
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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.
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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 ...
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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 ...
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View that problems in philosophy are caused by language?

What is the name of the philosophical view that most (if not the vast majority, or even all) problems in philosophy are caused by language in some sort of way? The question was partly inspired by a ...
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Is 'immortality' outside the scope of philosophy?

Obviously religion offers hope or order through the promise or threat of an after life, etc.. As far as I can tell there's no scientific evidence for immortality, if only because it would be difficult ...
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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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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 ...
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Why do philosophical questions arise?

I've been reading questions and answers in this site for a while, and I've come to the idea that philosophical questions arise mainly in a response to a psychological need, like having a cognitive ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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How do Philosophy and Cognitive Science differ?

I have studied neither philosophy nor cognitive science in an academic capacity. When answering this question here, a comment was made that perhaps my answer was better suited for Cognitive Science ...
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What is the objective of philosophy according to the late Wittgenstein?

Wittgenstein early metaphilosophy in the TLP basically gives philosophy the role of "riddler solver", that is, a discipline whose main task is to study language in order to clarify the meaning of ...
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What is(are) the importance(s) of formal reasoning

In Mathematics, we as an undergraduate are exposed for the first time (at least for me it was the case) to 'rigor'. For example, in Real Analysis classes we often use logical quantifiers in our ...
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Do academic philosophers have a special duty to challenge their government?

This is a question about source materials: I'm hoping someone can point me to a modern treatment of obligations to the state incurred by the act of philosophizing, or even an argument against the ...
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Can any signature be counterfeit?

Derrida in Signature Event Context" (1972) asks: "Are there signatures?", responds, "Yes, of course, every day. Effects of signature are the most common thing in the world" (SEC 20). And he ...
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How to stop thinking philosophically? [closed]

My dilemma is that somehow I always get stuck thinking philosophically about things. One example is mathematics. For some reason, I always start thinking philosophically. Like word problems; I start ...
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Understanding philosophy from a mathematicians perspective

I was reading this, and came across the paragraph Working realism is the methodological view that mathematics should be practiced as if platonism was true (Bernays 1935, Shapiro 1997, pp. 21–27 and ...
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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 ...
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What is an assumption?

I am unable to come up with an answer to the question - "what is an assumption?" Given a statement X, how do i know how many assumptions are there in it. It often happens that one statement is said ...
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Can philosophy justify itself?

There are some scientists who claim that philosophy is useless: Lawrence Krauss, Lewis Wolpert, Stephen Hawking and so on. Science is a better method for our quest for knowledge, they said. Some ...
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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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Truth and factness of reality [closed]

In relation to my earlier question, Apart from Fact being a component of reality, what other factors comprise of reality which are sufficient for anything to be Fact? And by saying Truth: a ...
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Do philosophical theories stay independent of scientific discoveries?

I asked a question earlier about how the Genealogy of Morals by Nietzsche had held out in terms how accurate his philosophy was, now that we know more about the emergence of the human animal. The ...
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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. ...
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Does definition of Fact in philosophy have any relation with time and place?

Does definition of Fact in philosophy have any relation with time and place? If yes, then is it justified to say that "Fact is a Fact irrespective of one's awareness of it being true"? For example: ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Are areas of philosophy besides logic subjective?

Are all areas of philosophy, with the exception of logic, subjective (can't be proven, varying interpretations)? For example, consider Chinese philosophy (e.g., Confucianism): I've been looking into ...
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Is philosophy the quest of the answer, or the thrive of the process? [closed]

I thought about "the medium is the message", and kind of transposed the similar thought-pattern to philosophy. Finding answers often seems to be at the very core of the subject: people fight with ...
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What is meant by an Appeal?

To Appeal to a concept would seem to originally be (in the day of Greek metaphysics) a somewhat poetic device metaphorically gesturing toward whatever concept understanding might be sought from. ...
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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 ...
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Is it defensible to offend a group of people when they cling to horrendous ideas?

Several organized or semi-organized groups of people in the world have really horrendous ideas, and react disproportionally strongly to any critique. I think most readers can agree with that statement,...
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Should philosophy focus more on 'ought' questions?

I'll preface the question with the fact that I don't mean to sound accusatory. I'm not widely studied in philosophy so for all I know this could be an area where philosophy is already having a ...
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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 ...
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The dissonance between our logic, and the origin of everything

Many broad arguments, listed below, hold for the entirety of our existence, but they overwhelmingly fail to explain the edge cases - that is, the beginning and the end. For example: Energy cannot ...
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What is the role of philosophy according to the Tractatus

IIRC it's to show what questions are pseudo questions. But he also says this: Philosophy limits the disputable sphere of natural science. Is this in reference to the demarcation of science and ...
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Could philosophy still work as well or better as multiple isolated, clearly delineated deduction systems?

I presume that philosophy could not work as well or better as such, or it would be going on already. But why couldn't it? I'm sure there are good reasons I can't think of. But those not in the ...
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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 ...
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Which questions have philosophers answered more satisfyingly than mere common sense? [closed]

Philosophy can be seen as a huge domain: studying everything that exists and questioning its inner mechanic, purpose, moral (non exhaustive list). For instance stuyding the laws of nature, logic, ...