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Monday, March 9, 2020

The Last Philosophy Book You’ll Ever Need

Imagine a philosophy book with the ghastly title: The Last Philosophy Book You’ll Ever Need. The title is ghastly, because it isn’t the last philosophy book that you’ll ever need. Philosophy is not a destination; it is a never-ending process of arguments and counterarguments, propositions and refutations; it is marked by chaos, conflict, and detours which result in unexpected theories.

But modern philosophy has been motivated by the hope of writing the last philosophy book that humans will ever need. The Enlightenment philosophes wanted to write it; Hegel was convinced that he had written it, so were Marx and Auguste Comte; the twentieth-century figures like Wittgenstein, the logical positivists, and the analytic philosophers wanted to write it, while Ayn Rand and Jean-Paul Sartre were convinced that they had written it.

It is noteworthy that no two philosophers have ever agreed on philosophical issues—unless they are part of a cult.

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