What is Meta-Philosophy?

Posted by Edward Willatt on Saturday, September 12, 2009 Under: Architectonics
A recent request for information on courses being taught on 'meta-philosophy' on philos-l (the philosopher's mailing list) gave rise to a number of responses.  I found this interesting because of philosophy's singular concern with the foundations of other disciplines but also with its own - this is the job of philosophy if it is concerned with architectonics.  For Kant philosophy must provide an account of knowledge as such (propaedeutic) and then provide an organon of principles for other disciplines that organise them systematically.  Philosophy is then a self-grounding system.  What sounds different about the term 'meta-philosophy' is that it seems go outside philosophy in order to think about it.  This of course happens a lot, notably when management theory comes from the outside in order to reflect upon the way disciplines work and are organised.  Of course this depends upon the institution and regime in which a discipline is practiced.  However, it is a common tendency today to have experts on practice and living, from management consultants to lifestyle gurus.  Of course 'meta-philosophy' courses being taught in philosophy department don't suggest such an approach, one so very abstract and ungrounded in the concrete concerns of the myriad of disciplines they minster to.  I simply want to consider how the tendency to rise above a discipline works and what value it has.  Why does the term architectonics no longer apply?  The search for a beginning does of course suggest the ambitious metaphysics which has for so long been considered obsolete (but which is certainly defended vigorously by the Speculative Realism movement with terms like Quentin Meillassoux's 'arche-fossil').  The advantage of this approach is its concrete and abstract role as a problem at the heart of the practice of the discipline.  The problem of the possibility of synthetic a priori judgement in Kant unifies and animates the various enquires he undertakes, making sense of otherwise baffling moves in his thought.  Of course this might merely be a debate over the terms we use but the case for 'architectonics' over 'meta-philosophy' is that it specifies a practice that is concrete as well as abstract.   

In : Architectonics 



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What is Meta-Philosophy?

Posted by Edward Willatt on Saturday, September 12, 2009 Under: Architectonics
A recent request for information on courses being taught on 'meta-philosophy' on philos-l (the philosopher's mailing list) gave rise to a number of responses.  I found this interesting because of philosophy's singular concern with the foundations of other disciplines but also with its own - this is the job of philosophy if it is concerned with architectonics.  For Kant philosophy must provide an account of knowledge as such (propaedeutic) and then provide an organon of principles for other disciplines that organise them systematically.  Philosophy is then a self-grounding system.  What sounds different about the term 'meta-philosophy' is that it seems go outside philosophy in order to think about it.  This of course happens a lot, notably when management theory comes from the outside in order to reflect upon the way disciplines work and are organised.  Of course this depends upon the institution and regime in which a discipline is practiced.  However, it is a common tendency today to have experts on practice and living, from management consultants to lifestyle gurus.  Of course 'meta-philosophy' courses being taught in philosophy department don't suggest such an approach, one so very abstract and ungrounded in the concrete concerns of the myriad of disciplines they minster to.  I simply want to consider how the tendency to rise above a discipline works and what value it has.  Why does the term architectonics no longer apply?  The search for a beginning does of course suggest the ambitious metaphysics which has for so long been considered obsolete (but which is certainly defended vigorously by the Speculative Realism movement with terms like Quentin Meillassoux's 'arche-fossil').  The advantage of this approach is its concrete and abstract role as a problem at the heart of the practice of the discipline.  The problem of the possibility of synthetic a priori judgement in Kant unifies and animates the various enquires he undertakes, making sense of otherwise baffling moves in his thought.  Of course this might merely be a debate over the terms we use but the case for 'architectonics' over 'meta-philosophy' is that it specifies a practice that is concrete as well as abstract.   

In : Architectonics 



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