Donald Baxter's recent reply (http://www.askphilosophers.org/question/2837), in which he writes "Then these attempts must be put to the test by trying to convince others, and then taking into account their incomprehensions and objections" suggests that Philosophy is about convincing people and alleviating their confusion. If that is the case, it seems Philosophy is more about rhetoric and psychology than truth or big issues. Do Philosophers believe, then, that they have succeeded if 1) people understand their positions perfectly and 2) people agree with it? This doesn't seem to me like the best standard for deciding what is true, and I thought philosophy was love of truth, not love of persuading people of clearly articulated positions.
Trying to convince people (and oneself) and alleviate their confusion (and one's own) and learning from the responses is our best way to approach the truth about matters for which observation and calculation are little help in resolving controversies. It is an imperfect way to the goal of truth, granted. It is hard to see why intersubjective agreement should even be connected to truth, granted. But this approach at least helps weed out inconsistency, irrelevance, prejudice, and partisanship, when it works. It helps direct people towards open-mindedness rather than arrogance, persuasion rather than violence. And it helps temper our tendencies toward willfulness and illusion.