Why the Heck Would You Do Philosophy? A Practical Challenge to Philosophizing (pages 163-177)

Jimmy Alfonso LICON

ABSTRACT: Philosophy plausibly aims at knowledge; it would thus be tempting to hold that much of the value of doing philosophy turns on securing knowledge. Enter the agnostic challenge: suppose that a philosophical agnostic (named ‘Betsy’) wants to discover only fundamental philosophical truths. However, the intractable disagreement among philosophical experts gives her pause. After reflecting on expert disagreement, she decides that doing philosophy, for her truth-seeking error-avoiding purposes, is irrational. In this paper, I argue that the agnostic challenge isn’t easily overcome. Although there are many reasons to do philosophy, the agnostic challenge implies there is less value to doing philosophy than many philosophers may have believed.

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