Review of Metaphysics 37 (2):327 - 356 (1983)

PHILOSOPHY has always made use of its past. In doing so, it resembles literature more than it does the natural sciences, which generally regard the scientific concepts and systems of history as superseded, useless hulks drifting in the wake of empirical and conceptual progress. Literature, on the contrary, cherishes the monumental achievements of previous ages; they retain value and importance, and can be turned to for interest and for inspiration again and again. Philosophy has sometimes claimed to take a radical turn which leaves the past behind, but in the long run the past returns to assert itself as living and useful. There are fashions in philosophy, of course, but it is never safe to regard any major philosophic system or approach as forever refuted and surpassed. As witness, we see how the current analytic movement is rediscovering pragmatism, once thought hopelessly old hat.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1983372217
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