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A Dangerous or Necessary Style?: An examination of the relevance of style in philosophy
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Department of Philosophy.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

No form of philosophy is without literary style. This is not always appreciated and opponents of style within philosophy often seem to be unaware of the role of style. Arguments that style is bad, good, or that diversity of styles is good needs to be investigated so that the underlying presuppositions and the meaning of different literary styles becomes clear.

This thesis examines three arguments for and against style within philosophy and the relevance of literary style for the philosophical method. I investigate what arguments and fundamental assumptions about language that underlies the judgments that literary style in philosophy is either 1.) bad, 2.) good or, 3.) both bad and good (a diversity position).

An analysis of three different positions to the question of the relevance of style will be performed. The analysis focuses on the basic understandings of what language is and does and reveals the underlying presuppositions of the attitudes towards style in philosophy. Only then can the different positions and attitudes towards style be defended and examined in an interesting and relevant way. The debate about philosophical style often misses a significant point because many are unaware of the philosophical presuppositions behind the arguments, and the argumentation risks to be flawed in relation to this.

Firstly, a presentation of three different attitudes towards the relevance of style to the philosophical method is outlined. The approaches are represented by a reading of philosophers who either describe the relevance of literary style as 1.) bad, or not important for the method, 2.) important/necessary for the method, or 3.) that diversity is good for philosophy. Secondly, I examine how these three approaches are affected by the underlying philosophy of language with a focus on theories of metaphor. Depending on how one believes that language is related to reality and ourselves, one will assess style as a more, or less, relevant and contributing aspect of the philosophical work and method. The analysis shows that metaphors and other literary stylistic tools might sometimes be necessary and mediate something that cannot be expressed in another way: language can never capture the full potential of reality.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 26
Keywords [en]
philosophy of language, semantics, style, metaphors, analytic philosophy, Continental philosophy
Keywords [sv]
språkfilosofi, semantik, stil, metaforer, analytisk filosofi, kontinental filosofi
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-353129OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-353129DiVA, id: diva2:1216095
Subject / course
Theoretical Philosophy
Educational program
Freestanding course
Presentation
2018-06-01, 13:00 (Swedish)
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-19 Created: 2018-06-11 Last updated: 2018-06-19Bibliographically approved

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