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By G. A. J. Rogers Tom Sorell

Philosophy written in English is overwhelmingly analytic philosophy, and the options and predilections of analytic philosophy should not in simple terms unhistorical yet anti-historical, and opposed to textual statement. Analytic often aspires to a really excessive measure of readability and precision of formula and argument, and it frequently seeks to learn via, and in step with, present typical technological know-how. In an prior period, analytic philosophy aimed toward contract with usual linguistic intuitions or logic ideals, or either. All of those features of the topic sit down uneasily with using ancient texts for philosophical illumination. during this ebook, ten distinctive philosophers discover the tensions among, and the probabilities of reconciling, analytic philosophy and background of philosophy. participants: M. R. Ayers, John Cottingham, Daniel Garber, Gary Hatfield, Anthony Kenny, Steven Nadler, G. A. J. Rogers, Tom Sorell, Catherine Wilson, Yves Charles Zarka

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It will free her from the temptation to reinvent a philosophical wheel (especially in cases which show that the wheel in question turned out to be square). Finally, it will enable her to strip off from her thinking layers of contemporary prejudice. The classical example of the intimacy of history to philosophy is given by the first part of Frege’s Grundlagen der Arithmetik. Almost half of Frege’s book is devoted to discussing and refuting the views of other philosophers and mathematicians. While he is discussing the opinions of others, he ensures that some of his own insights are artfully insinuated, and this makes easier the eventual presentation of his own theory.

And in the second place, Descartes himself never seriously entertained such doubts. If we are prepared to look a little more closely at Descartes’s own characterization of the sceptical doubts of the First Meditation, we 10 Richard Popkin, The History of Skepticism from Erasmus to Descartes (New York: Harper and Row, 1968), p. 184. 11 Hume, Enquiry concerning Human Understanding (1748), end of sect. XII, part 2. 34 John Cottingham find he calls them ‘exaggerated’ or ‘hyperbolical’, and ‘deserving to be dismissed as laughable’.

That is not to say that I have anything against the study of the history of philosophy. I do not discourage students or others from studying the history of philosophy. I am myself quite interested in the history of moral philosophy for example and have occasionally taught graduate seminars in Kant. 1 These views are measured, and they certainly do not express the deep hostility toward history of philosophy that I ascribed to Harman on the basis of the gossip about the sign on his door. At the same time, they do not seem to me to be uncontentious.

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