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Introduction The main topic of the article is the Western metaphilosophy of the last hundred years or so. But that topic is broached via a sketch of some earlier Western metaphilosophies. Once that sketch is in hand, the article defines the notion of metaphilosophy and distinguishes between explicit and implicit metaphilosophy.
Then there is a consideration of how metaphilosophies might be categorized and an outline of the course of the remainder of the article. Some Pre-Twentieth Century Metaphilosophy Socrates believed that the unexamined life — the unphilosophical life — was not worth living PlatoApology, 38a.
Indeed, Socrates saw his role as helping to rouse people from unreflective lives. According to Aristotlephilosophy begins in wonder, seeks the most fundamental causes or principles of things, and is the least necessary but thereby the most divine of sciences Metaphysics, book alpha, sections 1—3.
Later philosophers continued and even intensified the stress on philosophical practicality. The Roman Cicero held that to study philosophy is to prepare oneself for death.
The idea that philosophy is the handmaiden of theology, earlier propounded by the Hellenistic thinker Philo of Alexandriais most associated with the medieval age and particularly with Aquinas. Aquinas resumed the project of synthesizing Christianity with Greek philosophy - a project that had been pursued already by various thinkers including AugustineAnselmand Boethius.
Boethius was a politician inspired by philosophy — but the politics ended badly for him. In those respects he resembles the earlier Seneca. And, like Seneca, Boethius wrote of the consolations of philosophy. Is philosophy a process or a product? What kind of knowledge can philosophy attain?
How should one understand philosophical disagreement? Is philosophy historical in some special or deep way? Should philosophy make us better people? What method s and types of evidence suit philosophy? How should philosophy be written presuming it should be written at all?
Is philosophy, in some sense, over — or should it be?
But how might one define metaphilosophy? One definition owes to Morris Lazerowitz. One alternative definition construes metaphilosophy as the philosophy of philosophy.
Sometimes that definition intends this idea: That idea itself comes in two versions. The thought here is this. Metaphilosophy, as the application of philosophy to philosophy itself, is simply one more instance of philosophy Wittgenstein Metaphilosophy stands to philosophy as philosophy stands to its subject matter or to other disciplines Reschersuch that, as Williamson puts it loc.
On this definition, metaphilosophy is post-philosophy. Indeed, those construals have little content until after one has a considerable idea of what philosophy is. Such indeed is a third possible reading of the philosophy-of-philosophy construal.
Now, just what does so pertain is moot; and there is a risk of being too unaccommodating. Explicit and Implicit Metaphilosophy Explicit metaphilosophy is metaphilosophy pursued as a subfield of, or attendant field to, philosophy.
Metaphilosophy so conceived has waxed and waned. In the early twenty-first century, it has waxed in Europe and in the Anglophone English-speaking world.
This article will revisit all of those topics in one way or another. However, even when waxing, metaphilosophy generates much less activity than philosophy. Certainly the philosophical scene contains few book-length pieces of metaphilosophy.
There is more to metaphilosophy than explicit metaphilosophy.OCTOBER PRIEST OF THE MONTH - REV. TIMOTHY KOESTER. The name, Fr. Tim Koester, may not be very familiar to some people. Ordained for the Diocese of Buffalo in , Fr. Tim has been serving our country outside of Western New York for the past 28 years.
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