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date: 13 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article begins by reflecting on the Cartesian project of beginning with a skeptically unassailable first truth and from there progressively building up a system of philosophical truths. It then presents a less problematic but similar project associated with contemporary analytic philosophy, noting, however, that it too fails to yield progress in answering the fundamental questions of philosophy. Next, the author examines the idea that philosophy might nonetheless progress in the manner of empirical science, never answering its fundamental questions but generating important intermediary results. Then, giving up the assumption that we need philosophy to ground our pre-philosophical convictions (“philosophical foundationalism”), the author proposes an alternative view of philosophy as providing rigorous theoretical formulations of general pictures, and on this basis, discusses philosophical disagreement, the role of intuitions in philosophy, philosophical knowledge, and the interaction of science and philosophy. Finally, the author presents his conclusions about philosophical progress.

Keywords: philosophy, analytic philosophy, empirical science, philosophical progress, philosophers, intuition, philosophical knowledge

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