Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 04 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Philosophy has a wealth of heuristics—philosophical heuristics—although they have not been well documented or studied. Sometimes they draw attention to a problem with a philosophical position—for example, it involves a problematic definite description, or it has to make a choice that seems arbitrary. Sometimes they provide solutions to a problem—for example, there are many techniques for handling arbitrariness. Sometimes they suggest ways of replacing hard problems with easier ones, with strategies for approaching the latter—for example, replacing intensional notions with extensional surrogates, and then perhaps diagramming the latter. Sometimes they appeal to fertile modes of thinking more generally—for example, continuity reasoning. Philosophers have been becoming increasingly self-conscious of their methodology, yet I believe that the study of such heuristics has been surprisingly neglected. This chapter highlights the importance of philosophical heuristics to philosophical methodology. It considers especially a cluster involving the notion of resemblance.

Keywords: philosophical heuristics, philosophical methodology, resemblance, definite descriptions, indeterminacy, arbitrariness, continuity, diagrams

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.