On Transforming Philosophy: A Metaphilosophical Inquiry by Kai Nielsen

By Kai Nielsen

Given that Rorty, the predicament of procedure and pursuits in philosophy has been on the leading edge of metaphilosophy. during this e-book, Kai Nielsen, probably the most trendy critics of philosophy-as-usual, examines significantly crucial claims made on behalf of philosophy. After rejecting as chimerical the bold claims of conventional, specially foundational, epistemology and metaphysics, he offers the case for a extra modest view of what philosophy can accomplish.Nielsen insists that philosophy needs to be dedicated to real difficulties of actual humans in daily life. prompted substantively via Dewey and extra methodologically via Rawls, he carves out a defensible terrain for philosophy to inhabit—a terrain cleared of the extra extravagant yet unbelievable claims made via conventional philosophy.Nielsen has been a tremendous voice in debates concerning the scope of philosophy, and this most recent paintings of his can be a big contribution to the “end of philosophy debate.”

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Behaviorism in psychology) or common sense do not succeed in making true claims and are incompatible with a true account of the world. 13 Is it at all plausible to think that we can have such an account of the world? Can metaphysics provide us with factual knowledge of what exists Speculative Metaphysics 31 or can exist, a knowledge which science is unable to provide? Do we have any understanding of what it is to talk about "the final thing"? 14 Perhaps our existing apparatus of concepts is in need of radical reform and a revisionary metaphysics could yield a new framework, a revised cluster of concepts, which would yield the one true characterization of the world and tell us what ultimate reality really is.

PhilosophicalReview LII (1943),116-26; Ralph M. " Philosophical Review LII, (1943), 127-34; and A. E. " 135-43. 27. Frederick Copleston, "Ayer and World Views," 70. 28. Frederick Copleston, "Ayer and World Views," 74. 29. See, for example, Richard Rorty, Consequences ofPragmatism (Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press, 1982). 2 Metaphysics and A Priori Knowledge I It might be said I made things too easy for myself in the previous chapter. Such an ancient and persistent, even obsessional, enterprise as metaphysics, taken by so many philosophers to be so central to philosophy, cannot so easily, and indeed so high-handedly, be disposed of as I essay to do in what we have just seen.

But it is also the case that to claim such implications seems at least absurd; still it looks like, on the face of it, that there are such connections. But materialism might not require determinism and determinism might be perfectly compatible with freedom, properly understood, and not undermine morality at all. Indeed genuine human agency, and thus morality, might require determinism. So we can naturally be led from being perplexed by psychology, first to some closely related problems (mind, consciousness, the self) to, in turn, being led to consider a whole nest of at least seemingly interconnected problems and through this to try to get at what ultimate reality really is and at how things in the most general sense of the term hang together in the most general sense of the term and how coherently.

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