The Owl of Minerva

Volume 42, Issue 1/2, 2010/2011

Kenneth R. Westphal
Pages 1-18

Analytic Philosophy and the Long Tail of Scientia
Hegel and the Historicity of Philosophy

Rejection of the philosophical relevance of history of philosophy remains pronounced within contemporary Anglophone analytic philosophy. The two main reasons for this rejection presuppose that strict deduction is both necessary and sufficient for rational justification. However, this justificatory ideal of scientia holds only within strictly formal domains. This is confirmed by a neglected non-sequitur in van Fraassen’s original defence of ‘Constructive Empiricism’. Conversely, strict deduction is insufficient for rational justification in non-formal, substantive domains of inquiry. In nonformal, substantive domains, rational justification is also, in part, ineliminably social and historical, for sound reasons Hegel was the first to articulate.

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