What Is Philosophy?

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Edited by C.P. Ragland and Sarah Heidt

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In this stimulating book, six leading philosophers—Karl-Otto Apel, Robert Brandom, Karsten Harries, Martha Nussbaum, Barry Stroud, and Allen Wood—consider the nature of philosophy. Although each of them has a unique perspective, they all seem to agree that philosophy seeks to uncover hidden assumptions and concepts in order to expose them to critical scrutiny. It is thus entirely fitting that philosophers should examine their own assumptions about the nature of their discipline.

As they delve into the nature of philosophy, the authors address many fascinating subjects: what makes philosophy different from natural science, religion, and other branches of the humanities; whether philosophy can contribute to political transformation, and if so, how; whether there can ever be an “end of philosophy”; and more. The editors’ introduction ties together the contributors’ diverse perspectives by noting common themes, similarities, and differences.

C.P. Ragland is assistant professor of philosophy at St. Louis University. Sarah Heidt is assistant professor of philosophy at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York.

“Given the self reflective nature of philosophy, it is surprising its practitioners have devoted so little attention to the question ‘What is philosophy?’ This excellent collection helps fill an important gap. Strongly recommended to anyone interested in the discipline.”—William J. Wainwright, Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

“Recommended for libraries serving graduate programs in philosophy.”—Choice

ISBN: 9780300087949
Publication Date: July 11, 2001
208 pages, 5 x 8