In A. J. Holland (ed.), Philosophy, Its History and Historiography. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Reidel. pp. 27-40 (1985)

Authors
Michael Richard Ayers
Cambridge University (PhD)
Abstract
No doubt most philosophers who spend time on the history of philosophy are familiar with that question asked to embarrass (and liable to be asked by scientists in particular) why the history of the subject should be thought a significant part of the subject itself. Either there is progress in philosophy, it is said, or there is not. If there is progress, why the laborious backward glances? How can the past be so important? Why aren’t philosophers like psychologists, given perhaps a short historical orientation before being brought up to the nitty-gritty of the present? If, on the other hand, there is no progress, if we might as well be discussing Locke as Quine, doesn’t that imply that philosophy consists in a set of questions for which there is no way of establishing even that some answers are better than others? Wouldn’t it be more profitable to pursue questions to which at least provisional answers can be established, approximating to the truth? Wouldn’t it be better to be a scientist?
Keywords Historiography  Progress in philosophy  Relevance of history of philosophy
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The Cognitive Faculties.Gary Hatfield - 1998 - In Daniel Garber & Michael Ayers (eds.), The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 953–1002.

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