The Botereid

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Purpose of philosophy

Don't know why, but I've always liked this passage from D.M. Armstrong's "The Causal Theory of Mind":

The philosopher has certain special skills. These include the stating and assessing of the worth of arguments, including the bringing to light and making explicit suppressed premises of arguments, the detection of ambiguities and inconsistencies, and, perhaps especially, the analysis of concepts. But, I contend, these special skills do not entail that the objective of philosophy is to do these things. They are rather the special means by which philosophy attempts to achieve further objectives. ... [T]he analysis of concepts is a means by which the philosopher makes his contribution to great general questions, not about concepts, but about things.

UPDATE: I know why I like it now. It's because it says that philosophy's definitely good for something. Damn, I have to stop patting myself on the back.


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