The core of philosophy is escaping from bullshit.

Many years ago, I wrote a review of a book on the history of philosophy in Ukraine: “Comments on Chyzhevs’kyi’s Historiography of Philosophy in Ukraine” (1982). In it I claimed that philosophy is a critical examination of a Weltanschauung. So, what is a Weltanschuung? And what is criticism?

A Weltanschuung is the sum of a person’s beliefs about the make-up of the universe, his beliefs about the social order, his views on what is credible, and his views on values. In short — using the technical jargon of philosophy — his views on metaphysics and ontology, his views on epistemology, his axiology, and his logic or way of reasoning.

All philosophers must be interested in doing this, if philosophy is indeed a critical examination of Weltanschauungs. Let us use W as an abbreviation for a Weltanschauung. And to connect with another related notion, let us equate a Weltanschauung with a Possible World.

Now, there are many Ws. How so? Well, religions and myths form a part of a W, and if we simply dwell on the number of religions and myths, that alone is enough to give us a few hundred Ws.

C. D. Broad divided philosophy into two parts: Critical and Speculative Philosophy. Using Broad’s classification of philosophy, Critical Philosophy is concerned with clarification and the rejection of errors. The fundamental errors are those of contradiction and incompatibility. I sum up these tasks by the phrase “escaping from bullshit.”

See also:

Can one escape from bullshit?

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