Contemporary Philosophy and the History of the Discipline
This concluding chapter provides a brief discussion of the relevance of this study to the way one might now think about philosophia and the history of philosophy in contemporary discussions of philosophy. Diverse candidates get floated: thinking about thinking, knowing at the deepest and most systematic level, conceptual analysis, concept creation, social critique. This diversity should surprise nobody. If each candidate meaning is offered as the best interpretation of the efforts of practitioners over the discipline's two-and-a-half millennia, or even of practitioners in one's immediate conversational circle, or even of oneself, uncertainty, disagreement, and shifts in emphasis can hardly be avoided. The chapter also argues that the relevance to contemporary discussion of philosophy of an account of the name's coinage and early centuries of use is, if narrow, still important.
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