Michael Hannon
Nottingham University
James Nguyen
Stockholm University
What is the epistemic aim of philosophy? The standard view is that philosophy aims to provide true answers to philosophical questions. But if our aim is to settle controversy by answering philosophical questions, our discipline is an embarrassing failure. Moreover, taking philosophy to aim at true answers to such questions leads to a variety of puzzles: How do we account for philosophical expertise? How is philosophical progress possible? Why do job search committees not care about the truth or falsity of a candidate’s philosophical views? We argue that philosophy does not aim at discovering true answers to philosophical questions. Instead, we argue that its primary intellectual aim is understanding, and that many familiar aspects of philosophy become intelligible once we accept this hypothesis.
Keywords understanding  metaphilosophy  truth  knowledge
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophical Investigations.Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein - 1953 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
What Do Philosophers Believe?David Bourget & David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):465-500.
True Enough.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2017 - Cambridge: MIT Press.
Science, Perception and Reality.Wilfrid Sellars (ed.) - 1963 - New York: Humanities Press.

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