Is Philosophy A Science?

Mar 11 2012 @ 4:55pm

Colin McGinn makes the case:

[M]ost of the marks of science as commonly understood are shared by academic philosophy: the subject is systematic, rigorous, replete with technical vocabulary, often in conflict with common sense, capable of refutation, produces hypotheses, uses symbolic notation, is about the natural world, is institutionalized, peer-reviewed, tenure-granting, etc. We may as well recognize that we are a science, even if not one that makes empirical observations or uses much mathematics.

Jean Kazez counters:

Can it really be true that 10 people are being "systematic and rigorous", if they arrive at 10 different conclusions on the same subject?  Not really, and that's why we're stuck with the word "philosophy."  McGinn says it's "faintly shameful" but so is the whole business of selling views as if they were rationally supported, when the guy or gal at the next stall is selling something else.