Bocheński and balance: System and history in analytic philosophy

Studies in East European Thought 55 (4):281-297 (2003)
Using the work of Józef Bocheski as apositive example, this paper sets out the casefor a balanced use of historical knowledge indoing analytic philosophy. Between the twoextremes of relativizing historicism, whichdenies absolute truth, and arrogant scientism,which denies any constructive role for thehistory of ideas in philosophy, lies a viamedia in which historical reflection onconcepts and their history is placed at theservice of the system of cognitive philosophy.Knowledge of the history of philosophy, whilenot a sine qua non, can empower analyticphilosophy to push forward to new and moresatisfactory solutions to old and new problems.Examples are adduced from Bocheski's oeuvreand from the author's own experience.
Keywords analytic philosophy  Bocheński  historicism  scientism  systematic philosophy
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