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Thinking about Progress: From Science to Philosophy

Dellsén, Finnur and Lawler, Insa and Norton, James (2021) Thinking about Progress: From Science to Philosophy. [Preprint]


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Is there progress in philosophy? If so, how much? Philosophers have recently argued for a wide range of answers to these questions, from the view that there is no progress whatsoever to the view that philosophy has provided
answers to all the big philosophical questions. However, these views are difficult to compare and evaluate, because they rest on very different assumptions about the conditions under which philosophy would make progress. This paper looks to the comparatively mature debate about scientific progress for inspiration on how to formulate four distinct accounts
of philosophical progress, in terms of truthlikeness, problem-solving, knowledge, and understanding. Equally importantly, the paper outlines a common framework for how to understand and evaluate these accounts. We distill a series of lessons from this exercise, to help pave the way for a more fruitful discussion about philosophical progress in the future.

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Item Type: Preprint
Dellsén, Finnurfinnurd@gmail.com0000-0003-4989-4204
Lawler, Insairlawler@uncg.edu0000-0002-1250-6020
Norton, Jamesjamesnorton@hi.is0000-0003-3029-1788
Keywords: philosophical progress scientific progress metaphilosophy
Subjects: General Issues > Theory Change
Depositing User: Dr. Insa Lawler
Date Deposited: 02 May 2021 13:40
Last Modified: 02 May 2021 13:40
Item ID: 18979
Subjects: General Issues > Theory Change
Date: 2021

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