Nov 10 2022


4:00 pm - 5:45 pm


Department of Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

The University of Hong Kong
Lingnan University
National University of Singapore

Finnur Dellsén
University of Iceland

Understanding Philosophical Progress

10 November 2022
4:00-5:45 pm

Zoom link:

What is it to make progress in philosophy? This question about the nature of philosophical progress is rarely addressed explicitly, perhaps because it has been assumed to be intractable or unlikely to have a single, unified answer. In this paper, we aim to demonstrate that the question is tractable, that it does admit of a single, unified answer, and that this answer is plausible. Our answer is, roughly, that philosophical progress consists in enabling greater understanding, where “understanding” is a matter of accurately representing the network of dependence relations between concepts or phenomena. We argue
that this account explains the sense in which various other achievements, e.g. philosophical arguments, explanations, and illustrations, may also contribute to progress. Finally, we show how this account implies a moderate form of optimism about how much progress we have made in philosophy.

For inquiries:
Nathaniel Sharadin



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