The Analytic Self-Image. Thoughts on Style, Procedures, and Precision

Many essays, books and articles have been produced on the distinction between Analytic philosophy and Continental philosophy. Several recent installments in the long-running and seemingly never-ending Analytic vs. Continental debate have been posted here at APP: “Analytic” Philosophy vs. “Continental” Philosophy: Wtf? Why Does It Still Matter So Much? “Analytic” vs. “Continental” Philosophy Revisited. Which … [continue reading]

Five Theses on Real Philosophy, Part 1. An Attempt at Defining a Methodological Theory of Real Philosophy

Some time ago, one of APP’s readers asked how real philosophy as we define and practice it (two activities that are inextricably connected) is supposed to be different from other types of philosophy, and whether all philosophy that is not real philosophy should be regarded as “fake” or “inauthentic” philosophy.[1] To a certain extent, we … [continue reading]

Professional Philosophy’s Failed Revolution. Reflections on Intellectual Dictatorship, Instrumental Reason, and Neo-Fascism

The German-Jewish philosopher Walter Benjamin is often credited with the statement “behind every fascism is a failed revolution.” Allegedly, Benjamin made this statement in his essay Theories of German Fascism: On the Collection of Essays War and Warrior, edited by Ernst Jünger, and was originally published in 1930. Although the sentence seems not to be … [continue reading]

Institutional Amnesia: Modernity, Philosophical Professionalism, and the Practice of Forced Forgetfulness.

Actually, as Winston well knew, it was only four years since Oceania had been at war with Eastasia and in alliance with Eurasia. But that was merely a piece of furtive knowledge which he happened to possess because his memory was not satisfactorily under control. Officially the change of partners never happened. Oceania was at … [continue reading]

Shrinkwrapped Profundity: The “2-for-1” Package Deal of Professional Philosophical Bullshit. Studies in the History of Philosophy and Critical Metaphilosophy 7.

BY OTTO PAANS[1] 1. Introduction In the first installment in this series on the nature and varieties of philosophical bullshit, I dealt with the topic of incoherent philosophical bullshit. In this second installment, I deal with professional philosophical bullshit. There are multiple ways of dealing with this topic. One way would be to collect samples … [continue reading]

Between Familiarity and Bewilderment: Towards A Theory of Incoherent Philosophical Bullshit. A No-Bullshit Approach to Philosophical Bullshit, part I. (Studies in Critical Metaphilosophy & Critical History of Philosophy 6)

BY OTTO PAANS. 1. Introductory Moves  The output of philosophical practice is extremely varied in its topics and starting points. There are numerous theories of mind, different conceptions of knowledge and truth-value in epistemology, various metaphysical visions about the structure of reality, and varying strands of ethics, ranging from virtue ethics to Kantianism to utilitarianism … [continue reading]

From Professional Vocabularies and the Ethics of Terminology to Presentational Polymorphism: A Conversation about Otto Paans’s “The Pre-Structured Professional Philosopher.” (Re-edited February 2018)

Z: OP’s essay, “The Pre-Structured Professional Philosopher,” leads in many fascinating directions, and has correspondingly many important implications. But before I get down to that, I want to quote, between the horizontal lines directly below, a few pages of a highly APP-relevant, prescient, and characteristically beautifully-written, jargon-free essay by Susan Haack from the late 2000s, … [continue reading]

The Pre-Structured Professional Philosopher: Vocabularies in Action. (Re-edited February 2018)

At least since Bacon’s 1620 Novum Organum, the ideal of acquiring knowledge about the natural world as well as the world of human affairs has critically hinged on the ideal of a distanced, dispassionate observer who just documents the observations he makes. In philosophy and science, formal logic and clear, transparent methods have long been … [continue reading]