Philosophical progress: Why not consensus

Nicholas Rescher, 2014. Philosophical Progress: And Other Philosophical Studies. Ontos, Berlín: 12-13.

There is a good reason why the “big questions” of philosophy are in the final analysis consensus precluding. It roots in the observation, already made by Aristotle, the father of logic, that any cogent argument must proceed from premisses, and that insofar as reasoning from philosophy’s general principles is concerned, any question about a conclusion will redoubt back into the premisses which must, therefore, ultimately be grounded in something factual and distinct from considerations of such general principles.


It seems plausible to regard the insight that philosophical progress is simply not to be assessed by the standard of consensuality as itself constituting a significant item of philosophical progress, rendering obsolete the all-too-common complaints of days past that philosophy—unlike the sciences—affords generally agreed answers to its questions.

Acerca de Martin Montoya

I am Professor of Ethics and History of Contemporary Philosophy at the University of Navarra. Researching on theories of action of Maurice Blondel and Thomas Aquinas, the debate about the metaphysics of free will, moral & religious beliefs, and epistemology.
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