Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 1, Issue 4, Winter 1994

Laura Duhan Kaplan
Pages 20-24

Speaking for Myself in Philosophy

The conventions of positivism, still the standard model for academic discourse, require philosophers to take knowledge out of the context of personal experience. In this essay, I argue that such a decontextualization impoverished the development of moral and epistemological knowledge. I propose to contextualize such knowledge by using the personal essay as a style of philosophical writing. As literary style shapes what can be thought and said, adoption of a different literary style calls for a reinterpretation of philosophy’s understanding of the self, the quest for truth, and the nature of universality.