Metaphilosophy is a subfield of philosophy that critically reflects on the aims, boundaries and methods of philosophy. It reflects on what philosophy is, how it is practiced and what its purpose or role is, in relation to life, society and other knowledge seeking practices. In this course, we will start with a focus on two subareas within metaphilosophy: philosophy and its social context (e.g., how philosophy relates to social justice) and methodological issues (e.g., which role should thought experiments play).
We will start with a historical and systematic introduction addressing metaphilosophy’s own historical development as part of 20th century philosophy. We will continue with four seminar-style sessions on the two areas in focus in the course. After that, we will broaden our view and venture into further issues. The respective topics will be selected together with the students, so that the subsequent discussions can more directly reflect the specific interests of participating students. The course ends with a more practice-oriented approach to metaphilosophy.