David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy of the Social Sciences 32 (2):151-177 (2002)
In the twentieth century, philosophy came to be dominated by the English-speaking world, first Britain and then the United States. Accompanying this development was an unprecedented professionalization and specialization of the discipline, the consequences of which are surveyed and evaluated in this article. The most general result has been a decline in philosophy's normative mission, which roughly corresponds to the increasing pursuit of philosophy in isolation from public life and especially other forms of inquiry, including ultimately its own history. This is how the author explains the increasing tendency, over the past quarter-century, for philosophy to embrace the role of "underlaborer" for the special sciences. Indicative of this attitude is the long-term popularity of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, which argues that fields reach maturity when they forget their past and focus on highly specialized problems. In conclusion, the author recalls the history of philosophy that, following Kuhn's advice, has caused us to forget, namely, the fate of Neo-Kantianism in the early twentieth century. Key Words: analytic philosophy normative positivism pragmatism professionalism underlaborer.
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Citations of this work BETA
Philip Mirowski (2004). The Scientific Dimensions of Social Knowledge and Their Distant Echoes in 20th-Century American Philosophy of Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 35 (2):283-326.
Steve Fuller (2004). Descriptive Vs Revisionary Social Epistemology: The Former as Seen by the Latter. Episteme 1 (1):23-34.
Kei Yoshida (2012). Re-Politicising Philosophy of Science: A Continuing Challenge for Social Epistemology. Social Epistemology 26 (3-4):365-378.
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