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PHIL 22D: The Philosophy of Philosophy

What happens when philosophical inquiry turns its lens upon itself? This tutorial will be a brief survey through some of the major statements by philosophers themselves attempting to capture the nature of their own philosophizing: their methods, their purpose, and why such activity is philosophy (and not something else). We will begin with Plato to scan some of the historical statements by canonical philosophers, including Aquinas, Descartes and Hume, before pivoting into contemporary texts beginning with Wittgenstein's famous remarks on philosophy as a problem to be overcome. The tutorial will finish with contemporary metaphilosophy, possibly including reflections by Michael Dummett, Timothy Williamson, Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead, and others. We will compare methods and approaches with an eye towards understanding how different philosophers restate the aims and value of philosophy in order to motivate their own projects. A prior philosophy course is recommended. Limited enrollment.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 2 | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
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