Tag Archives: role of philosophy


There is plenty in philosophical literature which is not just analysis or elaboration of the work of science, and which is not modeled on science. What I stress is that philosophical discourse should at least strive for honesty, clarity and coherence, and that philosophers should not make obscurity a virtue, and should not offer vagueness and equivocation as profundity. I don’t have much patience for the pretentious type of speculative metaphysics which often parades as profound philosophy.

Reply to a friend's remarks on the nature of philosophy

But the view which sees the philosopher as engaged in some esoteric type of exploration into reality distorts the work of such philosophy (traditional, non-analytic philosophy) as being some mysterious pseudo-science. This notion might have be applicable in earlier periods of western history, but not today.

Of course, this is just a gloss on one view of the function/nature of philosophy. It is misleading to the extent that it suggests there is one ‘thing’ called “philosophy” which can be assigned a specific function. There are different forms of philosophical work, one of which is the “secondary type of analysis and inquiry.”