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The end of history (of philosophy)

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  1. skybrian
    Here's the abstract:

    Here's the abstract:

    What credence should we assign to philosophical claims that were formed without any knowledge of the current state of the art of the philosophical debate and little or no knowledge of the relevant empirical or scientific data? Very little or none. Yet when we engage with the history of philosophy, this is often exactly what we do. In this paper, I argue that studying the history of philosophy is philosophically unhelpful. The epistemic aims of philosophy, if there are any, are frustrated by engaging with the history of philosophy, because we have little reason to think that the claims made by history’s great philosophers would survive closer scrutiny today. First, I review the case for philosophical historiography and show how it falls short. I then present several arguments for skepticism about the philosophical value of engaging with the history of philosophy and offer an explanation for why philosophical historiography would seem to make sense even if it didn’t.

    2 votes