Grad Seminar Research Questions on Method

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Questions and Hypotheses about Method in Philosophy

  1. Does philosophy have methods unique to it or characteristic of it as a discipline?
  2. What, if anything, is distinctive about the problem of method in philosophy in comparison to other fields?
  3. Does method define philosophy? If not, what does?
  4. What is the difference between using a method from an historical tradition to address a problem and producing philosophical scholarship from that tradition?
  5. What is the difference between naturalism or phenomenology as a movement and as a set of methods?
  6. How would you approach a taxonomy of method in philosophy?
  7. Do different philosophical methods produce philosophical writing with different temporal and geographic validity? Do some methods tell us something about the immediate conditions of the culture, even if they aspire to universality? Do some methods tells us something universal and objective?
  8. Is philosophy a kind of literature within culture, similar to other forms of cultural production, or does it have a different relation to culture than other disciplines?
  9. T/F?: Philosophy is (has been) much more of a national literature than we think it is. When we admire Gadamer are we admiring something from German philosophical culture. Appreciating Gadamer as philosophical literature is largely about understanding his philosophy, especially its distinctive contributions and insights, in the context of a tradition. A literature professor might say the same thing about a novel.
  10. T/F?: Your method includes things drawn from the figures and traditions you tend to work from, as well as meta-belief about the status of those methods for producing philosophy.
  11. Are there interpretive methods in philosophy that tell us about realities or answer questions that no other method or approach can tell us about? In science, for example, methods for detecting neutrinos. But in the humanities? Methods for determining the validity of an argument?
  12. When, if ever, is the practice of a method enhanced by returning to the original work that expresses it? In revealed truths? Eye witness accounts?
  13. Does philosophy make progress?