Can I Be Blamed for Obeying Orders?
Many people, if asked for the distinctive feature of present-day British philosophy, would say that it lies in the peculiar attention which we tend to pay to the study of language. Perhaps most British philosophers would agree that the study of language, in some sense, is a very potent philosophical tool; and many would say that it is the philosophical method — that any problem which is properly philosophical reduces in the end to an elucidation of our use of words. Criticisms of this approach to philosophy are frequently made by those who have not practised the sort of method we use, and therefore do not understand either what the method is, or how fruitful it can be. It is alleged that we are turning philosophy away from matters of substance to trivial verbal matters (as if it were a trivial matter to understand the words we use); and it is also sometimes said that we are to be contrasted unfavourably in this respect with the great philosophers of the past.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.