No Escape from Method

Petri Turunen While doing metaphilosophy, one can come across some rather hostile attitudes. This is particularly true if one dares to consider such questions as how is, can, or even should philosophy be practiced. Some say that such methodological considerations are a non-starter since philosophy, by its very nature, should not have any constraints. PhilosophyContinue reading “No Escape from Method”

The Errors of Empiricism: Infallibility of Experience

Ilmari Hirvonen In some sense empiricism is an almost trivially true doctrine: in order to find out what the empirical world is like, some sort of empirical research is needed. And precisely in this sense empiricism is an integral part of current – and past – science.  But in philosophy empiricism has had different, moreContinue reading “The Errors of Empiricism: Infallibility of Experience”

The Spirit of Verificationism

Ilkka Pättiniemi In philosophy verificationism seems to often enter the fray when one or more thinkers come to realize that the field has become stale and sterile – old ideas show no way forward, no way of settling controversies. The old ways of doing things have, the verificationist thinks, gotten us stuck. Verificationism, then, isContinue reading “The Spirit of Verificationism”

The Metaphysician’s Motte-and-Bailey

Ilmari Hirvonen Philosophers often think quite highly of what they are doing, and those engaged in metaphysics are no exception. Indeed, metaphysicians offer perhaps the clearest example of this attitude, for they frequently insist that their work is not only important but, in fact, necessary. After all, who could deny the self-evident truth that everyoneContinue reading “The Metaphysician’s Motte-and-Bailey”

A Brief Remark on Thought Experiments, or Did Galileo Refute Aristotle?

Ilkka Pättiniemi The use of a specific a priori method in philosophy is often justified by remarking that the same method is also used to good effect in physics. The method in question is, of course, the use of thought experiments to refute, or to support, claims or theories. A thought experiment can be characterizedContinue reading “A Brief Remark on Thought Experiments, or Did Galileo Refute Aristotle?”

Normative Relativism Isn’t Good for You

Ilmari Hirvonen Let’s start with a bold conjecture: you’re not a normative relativist. Not at least when it comes to issues like morals, linguistic interpretation, or inference. Indeed, adopting normative relativism in regards such topics would be, at the least, detrimental. But what is this thing called “normative relativism” anyway, and what’s so bad aboutContinue reading “Normative Relativism Isn’t Good for You”

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