The Nature and Future of Philosophy

The Nature and Future of Philosophy Philosophy is a discipline that makes no observations conducts no experiments and needs no input from experience It is an armchair subject requiring only thought Yet that thought can advance knowle

  • Title: The Nature and Future of Philosophy
  • Author: Michael Dummett
  • ISBN: 9780231150538
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Paperback
  • Philosophy is a discipline that makes no observations, conducts no experiments, and needs no input from experience It is an armchair subject, requiring only thought Yet that thought can advance knowledge in unexpected directions, not only through the discovery of new facts but also through the enhancement of what we already know Philosophy can clarify our vision of thePhilosophy is a discipline that makes no observations, conducts no experiments, and needs no input from experience It is an armchair subject, requiring only thought Yet that thought can advance knowledge in unexpected directions, not only through the discovery of new facts but also through the enhancement of what we already know Philosophy can clarify our vision of the world and provide exciting ways to interpret it.Of course, philosophy s unified purpose hasn t kept the discipline from splintering into warring camps Departments all over the world are divided among analytical and continental schools, Heidegger, Hegel, and other major thinkers, challenging the growth of the discipline and obscuring its relevance and intent Having spent decades teaching in American, Asian, African, and European universities, Michael Dummett has felt firsthand the fractured state of contemporary practice and the urgent need for reconciliation Setting forth a proposal for renewal and reengagement, Dummett begins with the nature of philosophical inquiry as it has developed for centuries, especially its exceptional openness and perspective which has, ironically, led to our present crisis He discusses philosophy in relation to science, religion, morality, language, and meaning and recommends avenues for healing around a renewed investigation of mind, language, and thought Employing his trademark frankness and accessibility, Dummett asks philosophers to resolve theoretical difference and reclaim the vital work of their practice.

    One thought on “The Nature and Future of Philosophy”

    1. In many ways this is an idiosyncratic book: much of the second half is taken up with remarks on the continuing significance of Frege's philosophy, and there is an extended discussion of moral conflicts in Catholic doctrine. The book has the feel of a pleasantly meandering philosophical conversation, but also contains some odd pronouncements, like the following:Because he couldn't find a statue of Bolzano on "a brief visit to Prague", Dummett proposes that this might be because "Czechs of the pre [...]

    2. Overall a nice little book. The best chapters are those that focus on Frege and Wittgenstein.Dummett's primary thesis:"Philosophy is indeed concerned with reality, but not to discover new facts about it: it seeks to improve our understanding of what we already know. It does not seek to to observe more, but to clarify our vision of what we see." (10)"[P]hilosophy does not advance knowledge: it clarifies what we already know. This clarification will affect our understanding of reality; it will dis [...]

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