Disagreement and philosophical method
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This dissertation is primarily concerned with the subjects of disagreement, argument, and the methodology of philosophy. The first chapter sets out and attempts to answer the question of what the connection between disagreement and disputing is. The second chapter is primarily a investigation into the nature of verbal disputes. The answer the chapter puts forward is that there is a justificatory relation (or at least we behave as if there is one) between disagreeing and disputing, so that, for example, if two parties do not disagree in the right way, then they (prima facie) should not dispute. In the second chapter I will look at a few theories of verbal disputes, and I will discuss some of the features such a theory should have. I go on to explicitly endorse a version of David Chalmers's theory of verbal disputes, and defend it from some potential objections. The third chapter is a defence of the method of conceptual analysis in philosophy. I introduce some potential objections to the Canberra plan style of conceptual analysis, and show how a different conception of conceptual analyses could get over these problems. The conception of conceptual analysis I argue for is heavily inspired by Rudolf Carnap's system of explication. The main way Carnapian explication would differ from the Canberra plan style of conceptual analysis is in the way that it would allow one to move further away from the original concept in analysing it, by balancing closeness to the original concept against other specific criteria.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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