If there is not any criterion for truth and any methodology for checking propositions with evidence, why should we consider philosophy as a way to truth? It can be understood as a kind of playing with thought, in spite of searching the truth. It can be classified in a cluster with poker and chess, not with science. Sorry for probable rudeness.

Not rude at all -- just uninformed.

Well understood, philosophy does not pretend to be "a way to truth," nor does it ask to be classified with science. First coined in ancient Greek, "philosophy" means "love of wisdom." So, it is not truth but wisdom we are after. And we don't pretend to deliver it to you, but merely invite you to love and seek it with us.

So what is wisdom, you will ask. A decent first answer may be: understanding what matters. Here I mean "what matters" not in an empirical sense -- as in "it matters to Mr. Smith that his dog should win the beauty pageant." What matters is not what Smith or I or you or anyone happens to care about. Rather, what matters is what is worth caring about, what is important. Persons are wise insofar as they understand what is worth caring about.

I speak of understanding rather than knowledge to indicate two points. First, that XYZ matters is not a fact out there which, with "something like case-control or cohort methodology" (Question 1071) could be captured into a true sentence. Second, to be wise, one need not merely care about the things that are worth caring about (and not care too much about things that are not worth caring about), but one must also appreciate the reasons why what one cares about is worth caring about. In this respect understanding is more ambitious than knowledge. You may know that E=mc^2 without a full understanding of this formula's significance. You may know that you are in love with someone, or ought not to read her private diary, without understanding why.

Wisdom -- understanding what matters -- includes then an appreciation of why certain things are, and others are not, why some are more and others less, worth caring about.

Now I agree with you that some professional philosophy fits poorly under the love-of-wisdom heading as I have explicated it. Some may even be a bit like chess (or poker??). But before you dismiss a whole academic discipline, you should probably look at its best exemplars. You wouldn't dismiss a science because some of its practitioners have drawn outlandish conclusions from very silly "research," would you?

Central to love of wisdom, as explicated, are normative reflections -- specifically ethics, which has been a main area of philosophy from the beginning. Ethics is concerned with the question how to live well, which includes questions about how (not) to interact with others and, more specifically, how to conduct oneself as a citizen. Such ethical questions lead philosophers to explore further ideas such as justice, the common good, various virtues or excellences of character, human rights, love, friendship, and so on. These ideas appear in ordinary language and commonsense, but philosophical reflection has produced much richer understandings of them and of their interrelations.

Such broadly ethical reflection gives rise to other philosophical concerns. For example, we reflect on our own reflection: Is reflection just something that happens in me or is there some I in control of the process? To what extent is my thinking and willing conditioned by my culture, language, faculties of thought, brain structure? What are reasons for particular judgments or actions, and what makes some reasons stronger than others, or makes them undercut or preempt other reasons altogether?

And we also reflect on other ideas that seem worth caring about: knowledge, happiness, religion, death, the future of humankind and of the universe -- and hence time, space, and the infinite. These ideas, too, appear in ordinary language and practice, and again philosophical reflection has yielded much richer understandings of them and of their significance.

When one develops such richer understandings of important ideas such as those of justice, reasons, knowledge, or happiness, has one then acquired truths defensible with solid methodologies? In some ways yes. The history of philosophy is littered with failures, and we can often say with good evidence that some particular conception of justice or knowledge is incoherent or subject to a decisive counter-example. And yet, in a deeper sense, the focus on truth misses the point of the philosophical exploration and development of ideas. Having developed a richer, more reflective conception of love or justice or happiness than you had as a 12-year old, you have not really gained knowledge of truths. You have gained a richer, fuller understanding of what matters. This is what philosophy seeks.

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