Unsolvable Problems and Philosophical Progress

American Philosophical Quarterly 19 (4):289 - 298 (1982)
Philosophy has been characterized (e.g., by Benson Mates) as a field whose problems are unsolvable. This has often been taken to mean that there can be no progress in philosophy as there is in mathematics or science. The nature of problems and solutions is considered, and it is argued that solutions are always parts of theories, hence that acceptance of a solution requires commitment to a theory (as suggested by William Perry's scheme of cognitive development). Progress can be had in philosophy in the same way as in mathematics and science by knowing what commitments are needed for solutions. Similar views of Rescher and Castañeda are discussed.
Keywords metaphilosophy  progress
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DOI 10.2307/20013970
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