Why Listen to Philosophers?

We look to the university for knowledge. What do we do, then, with fields that don't seem to know? We intuitively understand that not all disciplines are the same. English isn't the same sort of thing as biology; the humanities, more broadly, are different than the sciences. Yet we assume that their location in a university means they provide a disciplined knowledge or insight, whether it concerns cells, particles, novels, or ideas. But what do philosophers know? And how do we justify the idea of disciplinary philosophy, that is, philosophy not as a way of life, but as a part of a university system? Moreover, what are the effects of the disciplinary structure of philosophy on its claims to provide knowledge? I argue we should be highly skeptical of disciplinary philosophy, yet that it also has the resources to respond to this skepticism, and that doing so teaches us about more than just philosophy. What would such an account of philosophy look like?

This is task I take up in my most recent academic article, "Why Listen to Philosophers? A Constructive Critique of Disciplinary Philosophy." If you're interested, click here to read a pre-publication draft. The article will appear early next year in the journal Metaphilosophy.