Philosophy makes no progress, so what is the point of it?

Shand, John (2017). Philosophy makes no progress, so what is the point of it? Metaphilosophy, 48(3) pp. 284–295.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/meta.12237

Abstract

Philosophy makes no progress. It fails to do so in the way science and mathematics make progress. By “no progress” is meant that there is no successive advance of a well-established body of knowledge—no views are definitively established or definitively refuted. Yet philosophers often talk and act as if the subject makes progress, and that its point and value lies in its doing so, while in fact they also approach the subject in ways that clearly contradict any claim to progress. This article presents evidence for, and a theoretical explanation of, the view that philosophy makes no progress, concluding with an account of what philosophy is and what the point and value of it is. Philosophy should not be shy about being what it is, nor should it pretend to be what it is not. What it is should be reflected in philosophizing and the way it is
taught.

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