Saturday, 14 July 2018

Is There Progress in Philosophy? The Case for Taking History Seriously

Peter P. Slezak online: 29 June 2018 Abstract In response to widespread doubts among professional philosophers (Russell, Horwich, Dietrich, McGinn, Chalmers), Stoljar argues for a ‘reasonable optimism’ about progress in philosophy. He defends the large and surprising claim that ‘there is progress on all or reasonably many of the big questions’. However, Stoljar's caveats and admitted avoidance of historical evidence permits overlooking persistent controversies in philosophy of mind and cognitive science that are essentially unchanged since the 17th Century. Stoljar suggests that his claims are commonplace in philosophy departments and, indeed, the evidence I adduce constitutes an indictment of the widely shared view among professional analytic philosophers. Export citation Copyright COPYRIGHT: © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2018 Footnotes Hide All I am grateful to Daniel Stoljar and David Chalmers for very helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. 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I am grateful to Daniel Stoljar and David Chalmers for very helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. Thanks also to Galen Strawson for helpful remarks on the themes of this paper.