Philosophy, its History and Historiography (Royal Institute by Alan J. Holland

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By Alan J. Holland

The Royal Institute of Philosophy has been sponsoring meetings in exchange years when you consider that 1969. those have from the beginning been meant to be of curiosity to folks who're now not philosophers by means of career. they've got often excited about interdisciplinary parts resembling the philosophies of psychology, schooling and the social sciences. The volumes coming up from those meetings have incorporated discussions among philosophers and exclusive practitioners of alternative disciplines proper to the selected subject. starting with the 1979 convention on 'Law, Morality and Rights' and the 1981 convention on 'Space, Time and Causality' those volumes at the moment are constituted as a sequence. it truly is h

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Jonathan Ree begins his sketch of a part of an answer to the first of these questions in the mists of antiquity, but I should like to pick it up briefly at a l ater and, as it seems to me, a particularly significant point, before moving on to more recent developments. Seventeenth-century doctrines of method promoted a certain broad approach to the theories of opponents, epitomised by the Cartesians' treatment of error. e. by the senses, passions and imagination, by authority or by the web of words.

6O 'Preisschrijt', pp. 3 10, 259, 3 1 9, 3 10. 61 'Preisschrift', pp. 3 1 7, 342-343, 264. 62 There is an interesting presentation of this theme in Anthony Manser's inaugural lecture, 26 JONA THAN R E E 'The End of Philosophy: Marx and Wittgenstein' (University of Southampton, 1973). 63 Consider, for instance, Jacques Derrida's discussion of "the question of the privilege of voice and of phonetic writing in relation to the entire history of the West as represented in the history of metaphysics", Positions (Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1 972), p.

35) It is not surprising that an 'end of philosophy' view should be in some respects recognisably like the philosophy it aims to abolish or 'decon­ struct'. To attempt to bring an intellectual pursuit to an end is to take it seriously. The only alternative would be the ignorant dismissal of the enterprise as a waste of time, a move which has been common among non-philosophers in all periods. It would be a parody to re-write a passage from Ayers' paper as follows : It may seem that in accusing the historian of alchemy of a lack of openness to the possibility of being taught by past doctrine I am simply assuming what he denies: namely that there is a perennial alchemy or alchemical truth concerned with such topics as the philosophers' stone, the alkahest, the elixir and so forth.

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