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Philosophers Need to be More Self-Conscious of Methodology

August 8, 2013, 6:26 PM
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One of the reasons I wrote the book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking is because oddly enough, philosophers who are notorious for being naval gazers, for being reflective, are often remarkably unreflective about their own methodology. 

I wanted to draw attention to how philosophers actually go about their business and get them thinking more self-consciously about the tools they use and how they use them.  I think there are great tools and there are some not so great tools. 

I wanted to inculcate the attitude of thinking about your tools and reverse engineering them, turning the knobs to see how and why they work and become more critical about our practices in using these tools.  I’m not saying don’t use them.  I use them all the time.  You fight fire with fire.  You use intuition pumps to show what’s wrong with other intuition pumps.  But we should be more savvy and more self-conscious about how we use the tools.

In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

 

Philosophers Need to be Mor...

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