Showing posts from January, 2023

The New Alexandria

Here's a little story I tell myself, of very dubious relationship to actual history but through which I understand myself and my own time in philosophy. It's related to the habit (no doubt grounded in some real similarities) people have of describing analytic philosophy as a basically scholastic enterprise. Now, people do not generally mean this as a positive but rather to suggest that analytic philosophy has become (or maybe was from its inception) an exercise in debate for debate's sake, or building castles in the sky. The thought for those who say such things in their most polemical sense is that Scholasticism developed an intricate set of conceptual distinctions and theoretically organised propositions for one to learn, spurred debates about their precise interpretations and interrelations, and... never actually explained anything. Its whole way of approaching the world was divorced from contact with its actual problems, its theories superficial for all their intricacie