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Philosophy and Its HistoryAims and Methods in the Study of Early Modern Philosophy$
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Mogens Laerke, Justin E. H. Smith, and Eric Schliesser

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199857142

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199857142.001.0001

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Philosophical Problems in the History of Philosophy: What Are They?

Philosophical Problems in the History of Philosophy: What Are They?

(p.115) 6 Philosophical Problems in the History of Philosophy: What Are They?
Philosophy and Its History

Leo Catana

Oxford University Press

Richard Rorty, J. B. Schneewind and Quentin Skinner argued in Philosophy in History (1984) that what is outside the sphere of philosophical problems, that is, historical truth and the contingency of historical contexts, should be examined by intellectual historians, not by historians of philosophy; the method of the latter, and their followers in analytic philosophy, is not suited to uncover such historical contexts. In this essay it is argued that if history of philosophy is conceived as a problem-oriented discipline, as the three authors hold, then historians of philosophy would still have to undertake the historically and philologically exacting task of contextualisation usually assigned to intellectual historians, since philosophical problems are shaped by their contexts, especially their disciplinary and argumentative contexts.

Keywords:   philosophical problem, analytic philosophy, intellectual historians, contextualisation, historical truth

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