philosophy meta-forum

Sesardic replies to Leiter

Thales

228 day(s) ago

Source: https://sesardic.wordpress.com/2017/07/04/brian-leiter-and-when-reason-goes-on- holiday/

"In a recent post on his blog, Brian Leiter opens a discussion about my article “Study Philosophy to Improve Thinking–A Case of False Advertising?” published two days ago in Quillette.

Although Leiter says that the discussion will be moderated and that “only comments related to the issues raised by the essay are invited”, he did not stick to his own rule in his opening contribution in which he calls me “a right-wing crank” and “an anti-Marxist zealot”, and accuses me of “a fraudulent misrepresentation” of one of his posts. Since he doesn’t even mention the title of my book in which this transgression allegedly happened, his readers probably had no idea what he was talking about. Well, here you can read the offending two and half pages and form your own opinion"

And here's the link to the excerpt he mentions: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rvnohx5j4hgihx2/WROH-on-Leiter.pdf?dl=0

Timon

227 day(s) ago

I like the handwringing on Leiters Blog hoping to find some evidence for the claim that studying philosophy makes you smarter.

Roderick

227 day(s) ago

I like the handwringing on Leiters Blog hoping to find some evidence for the claim that studying philosophy makes you smarter.

Timon

It's pretty embarrassing that the best evidence people seem to be able to muster is a priori armchair speculation. I don't think they realize that this is all just bolstering Sesardic's point that these inflated claims on behalf of philosophy are just completely baseless (even if they do, fortuitously, turn out to be true!)

Hector-Neri

226 day(s) ago

It seems likely that being a philosophy major at least marginally improves a student's LSAT score, and may help them in law school. And that's great. But it seems to me that an important question here is whether the sort of critical thinking the study of philosophy trains (and I believe it really does train it) is transferable, or applicable to problems and questions outside narrow intra-philosophy debates. If it were, surely there's be many philosophers writing excellently on political questions, strategic questions, artistic questions. While many philosophers have respectably intelligent opinions on such matters, they don't come close to the analysis offered by political scientists, literary critics, international relations professors,

and so on. (Each of those fields has its own problems, of course.) So it seems to me that philosophy doesn't train critical thinking any, or at least much, better than those other fields.

Noam

225 day(s) ago

But it seems to me that an important question here is whether the sort of critical thinking the study of philosophy trains (and I believe it really does train it) is transferable, or applicable to problems and questions outside narrow intra-philosophy debates.

There may be a distinction to be drawn here between studying philosophy making one capable of critical thinking about, e.g., politics, and it making it significantly more likely that one *will* think critically about politics. If bad reasoning in politics is largely due not to lack of ability but to epistemic vice (confirmation bias, uncharitability, etc.), then even if philosophical training makes one better able to reason about politics, it may not make one much more likely to actually do so.

Judith

6 day(s) ago

If philosophy makes human being smarter, than why did they not all study philosophy? If evolution is the bees knee of what's what, shouldn't everyone be a philosopher by now? I would think Leiter of all people - this is Nietzsche, right? - would have a sensitive spot for the roll of evolution here.

Gustav

4 day(s) ago

I like the handwringing on Leiters Blog hoping to find some evidence for the claim that studying philosophy makes you smarter.

Timon

Sorry, did you have an argument? I must have missed it.

Dimitri

4 day(s) ago

Gustav, you are a fat pig and therefore not superhuman.

How's that for an argument?



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