Philosophy's FutureThe Problem of Philosophical Progress
Notes on Contributors ix Introduction I: Philosophy and the Perils of Progress 1Russell Blackford Introduction II: Philosophy on the Inclined Plane 13Damien Broderick Part 1 Roads to Progress in Philosophy 19 1 Coming Out of the Shade 21Myisha Cherry 2 What has Philosophy Ever Done for Us? 31James Ladyman 3 Progress and Philosophy 41Noretta Koertge 4 Only Connect 51Frank Jackson Part 2 Bumps in the Road, Rabbits in the Landscape 61 5 Chmess, Abiding Significance, and Rabbit Holes 63Peter Boghossian and James A. Lindsay 6 Philosophy as the Evocation of Conceptual Landscapes 75Massimo Pigliucci 7 Three Barriers to Philosophical Progress 91Jessica Wilson Part 3 Cautious Optimism 105 8 Is there Progress in Philosophy? A Brief Case for Optimism 107Daniel Stoljar 9 Is Philosophy Progressing Fast Enough? 119Stuart Brock 10 Does Philosophical Progress Matter? 133Richard Kamber Part 4 Philosophy and Science 145 11 Between Gods and Apes: On the Lack of Scientific and Philosophical Progress 147Mark Walker 12 Model?]Building in Philosophy 159Timothy Williamson 13 Progress in Philosophy and in the Physical Sciences: How Far Does The Analogy Hold? 173Christopher Norris Part 5 Re-Imagining the Conversation 191 14 Philosophy as “Intellectual War of Values” 193Stefan Lorenz Sorgner 15 Re?]Imagining the Philosophical Conversation 201Karen Green 16 David Lewis and the Kangaroo: Graphing Philosophical Progress 213Benj Hellie 17 Philosophy, Progress, and Identity 227Ward E. Jones Index 241
Russell Blackford is an Australian philosopher, legal scholar, and literary critic based at the University of Newcastle, New South Wales. His many books include Freedom of Religion and the Secular State (Wiley Blackwell, 2012), Humanity Enhanced: Genetic Choice and the Challenge for Liberal Democracies (2014), and The Mystery of Moral Authority (2016). Damien Broderick is an award-winning Australian science and fiction writer, editor, and critical theorist, and a former Senior Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He is the author or editor of some 70 books including, as co-editor with Russell Blackford, Intelligence Unbound: The Future of Uploaded and Artificial Minds (Wiley Blackwell, 2014).
The ancient discipline of philosophy, at one time the central intellectual forum for analyzing and understanding the human condition, has come under threat. With the rise of specialized sciences, philosophy relinquished jurisdiction over the empirically and theoretically tractable, and so finds its currency in asking questions without definitive answers. This has resulted in numerous challenges to its continued intellectual authority and cultural value. Has philosophy indeed lost its way in hyperspecialization and self-absorption, retreating from the rest of the world's concerns? Does the view held by some leading scientists have the ring of truth—that 21st-century advances in physics and cognitive neuroscience have rendered the venerable discipline all but obsolete? Philosophy's Future: The Problem of Philosophical Progress presents 17 newly commissioned essays which suggest a range of paths toward academic consensus on philosophy's deepest puzzles. Distinguished contemporary philosophers present competing views on the future of the field, acknowledging its susceptibility to fashion and bias while reaffirming its fundamental value. Essays explore how philosophical investigations of logic, the world, mind, and moral responsibility shape and contribute to the empirical and theoretical sciences in the quest for new knowledge. At the same time, the collection unearths a sense of unease that contemporary philosophy has lost touch with its core principles, and urges course correction before it is too late. Original and thought-provoking, Philosophy's Future diagnoses the state of philosophy as an academic discipline and calls it to account, inviting further reflection and dialogue on its cultural value and capacity for future evolution.
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