Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 1245–1246 | Cite as

Daniel Stoljar: Philosophical Progress. In Defence of a Reasonable Optimism

Oxford University Press, 2017, (ISBN: 9780198802099) 192 pp., $40
  • Tobias GutmannEmail author

Probably every professional philosopher from time to time is confronted with a sceptical question concerning the merits of philosophy: Does philosophy manage to gather knowledge as other disciplines, e.g. history, biology or physics do? For many people outside as well as inside professional philosophy the answer seems to be clear: Philosophers ask the same questions since at least two-and-a-half thousand years without reaching consensus, so there is no such thing as a stock of philosophical knowledge, hence there is no philosophical progress.

Daniel Stoljar’s aim is to show that this line of thought is mistaken in different respects. He claims that philosophers have answered philosophical questions in the past and that therefore we should be reasonably optimistic about further philosophical progress. His main argument consists in showing that many of the big philosophical problems – e.g. the problem of free will, the problem of identity over time, the problem of induction – can be...

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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TU ChemnitzChemnitzGermany

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