• Fooloso4
    3.7k
    Consider a thought experiment: imagine that philosophers in the analytic tradition concluded that reason is historical. How would that change what they do?Welkin Rogue

    There are several questions that must be addressed:

    What presuppositions inform the conclusion that reason is historical? Does the movement of history have a direction? Does it have a logic? Do we shape history or are we shaped by it? How one answers these and other questions about history determines how analytic philosophy might have looked.

    There is also the question of who is or is not an analytic philosopher. Is the early Wittgenstein within that tradition? Given that he claimed that the most important things lie beyond the logical structure of the world, what is most important is not subject to analysis. Is the later Wittgenstein with his emphasis on forms of life and seeing aspects within that tradition or outside of it attempting to untangle the knots of confusion it ties itself in? Is Rorty's use of pragmatism and continental philosophy an expansion of or a step outside the tradition?

    What bearing does the conclusion that reason is historical have on the concept of truth? Does truth remain unchanging? Do the efforts of analytic philosophy move ever closer to an approximation of truth or does the concept of truth change?
  • Fooloso4
    3.7k
    I haven't yet been able to clearly see the cash value, the pragmatic upshot, the real, concrete effect that embracing or rejecting historicism would have on the discipline, including how it interacts with these supposedly marginalised views.Welkin Rogue

    What is it that one is embracing or rejecting about historicism? Schuringa's claim is that:

    ... it is constitutionally averse [to] an examination of the social and political forces that have shaped it.

    An examination of social and political forces is not historicism.

    To some extent this is already going on. For example, the expanding field of 'conceptual engineering' within analytic philosophy isn't interested in eternally true conceptual analyses, but rather in the possibility, problems and principles that should guide change in our concepts and meanings.Welkin Rogue

    What is it that characterizes this as being "within analytic philosophy"?

    [Edit] If the focus on concepts is what characterise analytic philosophy then Schuringa's criticism stands. Philosophy, according to the alternatives, may involve but is not limited to conceptual analysis.
  • Welkin Rogue
    80
    Does Blackstone's ratio apply to the issue? Better that a 100 guilty people go free than that 1 innocent person be unjustly punished. Better that we deal with a 100 bad ideas than that 1 good idea be suppressed.Agent Smith

    I think the answer would depend on the details of the affirmative action program. My intuition is that affirmative action doesn't entail that innocent/good ideas are suppressed (censored). E.g., affirmative action through expansion (of curricula, staff, journal admissions) only. But given limited resources and demand, any real world affirmative action program would have to come at the expense of existing elements of curricula etc. Does that count as suppression or censorship? I don't think so. It would only be at the extreme limit of such a program that you would start to see something resembling censorship (e.g., requiring 10 units be provided on socialist thought in a school with funds for only 10 units would effectively suppress the teaching of other subjects). At this point however such concerns are a bit fanciful.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Aristotle's aurea mediocritas is notoriously difficult to achieve and as far as I can tell, it's exactly what's needed in this case (censorship) and so I propose a system of regulation that errs on the side of caution. By that I mean the system should have a low sensitivity for bad ideas (it should have a relaxed criterion). The false negative rate will be high (quite a number of bad ideas will slip through), but this is offset by true negatives (good ideas), more of which will be picked up by the system. After all 1 good idea = 100 bad ideas.
  • Welkin Rogue
    80
    Does what we have now in academia approximate your proposal? When you talk about 'bad ideas', do you include evaluatively (morally, politically) bad as well as shoddy/low quality ideas? Content regulation as practiced by journals and universities is fairly liberal when it comes to evaluative regulation, but is more variable when it comes to epistemic regulation (you can troll some journals by showing how bad quality articles can get approved, e.g., the Sokal Hoax).

    But it seems like you're just talking about censorship, not affirmative action. You could have your proposal implemented alongside affirmative action, as far as I can tell.
  • jgill
    2.7k
    Here are the undergraduate courses offered by Yale: Philosophy Courses (undergraduate)

    What do you find is lacking?

    Or are you talking mostly about faculty research?
  • Welkin Rogue
    80


    I'm talking about both. Yale has an uncommonly luxurious undergraduate program, and it would take a while to know what it really involves. The unit titles & outlines can often be vague to keep content flexible for coordinators etc. The closest thing I can see to a unit devoted to taking broad shots at the analytic tradition is something called 'Critical Perspectives on the Canon'. But I do see Marx and feminism mentioned in several other units.

    IF the article is accurate and analytic philosophy has been weathered down to a monolith by an ideologically tainted history, the implication is that something needs doing about that. I suspect things are changing in the last decade, as reflected in the teaching at departments like Yale's, but it's just not fast enough for some I guess.
  • Agent Smith
    8.9k
    Does what we have now in academia approximate your proposal? When you talk about 'bad ideas', do you include evaluatively (morally, politically) bad as well as shoddy/low quality ideas? Content regulation as practiced by journals and universities is fairly liberal when it comes to evaluative regulation, but is more variable when it comes to epistemic regulation (you can troll some journals by showing how bad quality articles can get approved, e.g., the Sokal Hoax).

    But it seems like you're just talking about censorship, not affirmative action. You could have your proposal implemented alongside affirmative action, as far as I can tell.
    Welkin Rogue

    I misread you - I thought you wanted to discuss regulation of ideas. If yes then censorship is one way of doing it.
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