Metaphilosophy 42 (5):617-641 (2011)

Authors
Stephen Boulter
Oxford Brookes University
Abstract
The central recommendation of this article is that philosophers trained in the analytic tradition ought to add the sensibilities and skills of the historian to their methodological toolkit. The value of an historical approach to strictly philosophical matters is illustrated by a case study focussing on the medieval origin of conceivability arguments and contemporary views of modality. It is shown that common metaphilosophical views about the nature of the philosophical enterprise as well as certain inference patterns found in thinkers from Descartes to Chalmers have their origin in the theological concerns of the Scholastics. Since these assumptions and inference patterns are difficult to motivate when shorn of their original theological context, the upshot is that much post-Cartesian philosophy is cast in an altogether unfamiliar, and probably unwelcome, light. The methodological point, however, is that this philosophical gain is born of acquaintance with the history of ideas.
Keywords Cartesianism  Scholasticism  modality  philosophical methodology  conceivability arguments
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2011.01719.x
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References found in this work BETA

What is It Like to Be a Bat?Thomas Nagel - 1974 - Philosophical Review 83 (October):435-50.
Principia Ethica.George Edward Moore - 1903 - Dover Publications.

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A Mariological Metametaphysics.Michaël Bauwens - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 80 (3):255-271.

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