Friday, December 17, 2010

The experiment continues

UPDATE: The link now takes you to the latest version of the paper.

If I call the last one a rough draft, then here is a first draft of my paper on what philosophy ought to be. It might not be very good, but it is at least (I hope) less bad than the previous one. Comments welcome, as always.


  1. some disorganized comments:

    1. it seems a little off to me whenever 'anthropology' comes up (usually so you can deny that philosophy might be or reduce to that), i guess because you don't seem to include 'philosophical anthropology' in that, which makes me unsure what is being denied. i think jonathan lear, for example, has made wittgenstein out to be a transcendental anthropologist or philosophical anthropologist or something like that?

    2. to me the phrase 'making propaganda' is poisonous. i think it's a completely unwarranted inference to move to once the idea that argument about important things might be rhetorical, and even if it's introduced merely as a motor of the dialectic of your paper, you then have to go to an awful lot of trouble to rebut it (which i assume some of the crary stuff goes toward).

    3. i guess your exposition of / drawing on the idea of essentially contested concepts works, because even though i haven't read that paper in forever, before you got to the point of footnoting it, i was thinking, 'hm, sounds like he should be talking about essentially contested concepts'.

    4. given my affinities, part i sounds VERY cavellian to me. especially the idea that we are the sources of authority we must consult in our efforts to understand our concepts. but it also sounds very uneasy to me. would you say that you're trying to frame the basic ideas that a) philosophy involves non-empirical disputes that can only be pursued, if not resolved, by our own participation in them, and b) this will involve a mode of argumentation with features resembling X rather than Y, where X includes things like aesthetic argument or real-world moral-political argument, and Y includes traditional conceptions of 'good argument' (deductive, formal, necessarily compelling, etc. etc.)? would the idea be that (a) secures a connection to what is thought to be philosophy, and (b) makes for the 'non-philosophical' transformation of it which prompts the doubts of the rest of the paper (e.g. the thought that maybe your view is like rorty's)?

    5. 'private'?!

    6. how is engaging in criticism about what ought to really count as a sport, doing what rorty says shouldn't be done, viz. asking whether certain practices express the objective, intrinsic nature of sport?

  2. Thanks, j. It looks as though I somehow uploaded the same old version of the paper instead of the new, (slightly) improved version. I'm sorry about that. These comments are definitely still helpful though.

  3. well, crap. i'd be glad to look at the newer one, anyway, if you think it's different enough.

  4. The newer one is up now. It might not be different enough for it to be worth your while reading it though. I had already cut out the part about Rorty and I've just made some very quick changes, e.g. cutting out all reference to anthropology and replacing them with references to sociology. I'm not sure how satisfactory that is. I have not yet addressed your point #4, but I hope to do so some time. It's still relevant.