On Philosophy and Its Progress (a response — of sorts — to Massimo Pigliucci)

The Electric Agora

by Daniel A. Kaufman

Massimo Pigliucci has just finished publishing his book, The Nature of Philosophy: How Philosophy Makes Progress and Why It Matters, in serial form over at his blog, Plato’s Footnote. (1)  Just the other day, the first of three video-dialogues on the book aired on the Sophia program, over at MeaningofLife.TV.  (2)  Needless to say, I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the nature of our subject, and thought it might be a good time to share some of my own views, here at the Electric Agora.

My typical response, when asked to give any sort of definitive characterization of philosophy, is to say that it can’t be done and that what I will do instead is list a number of representative philosophical questions.  The list typically looks something like this:

What are good reasons for believing something?

How do sounds, marks, gestures, and…

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