Systematic? Edifying? You decide!

Over the years of studying philosophy, I’ve seen quite a number of classifications that categorize them. I’ve come across an interesting one in Rorty’s seminal Philosophy & the Mirror of Nature, in which he distinguishes systematic and edifying philosophers. The distinction founders on those whose work is constructive and those that are reactive. Continue reading Systematic? Edifying? You decide!

Is there a point in/to/of philosophy?

by Nathaniel Mellors
by Nathaniel Mellors

Interlocutor #1: I hate philosophy! It never gets to the point, because it is a bunch of talk stuck in a perpetual circle! If philosophy ever truly got to the point, then we can use it and apply it in life, and hopefully become better people.

Interlocutor #2: Well, this may come as a shock to you, but there is a point in philosophy. It is to articulate reasons, examine how our thinking works, and account for the beliefs we hold. Philosophy does not preoccupy itself with “what” questions, because that is being engaged with the immediacy of experience. A philosophical frame of mind requires a contemplative state at the level of reflection. Within reflection, “why” questions emerges and philosophy ensues. Pending culture, philosophy employs many different types of languages – metaphysical, religious, logical, or even aesthetics – to talk about the point.

By the way… “the point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it.” — Bertrand Russell