Can and should we see philosophy as art? LCM

No, I doubt we should generally regard philosophy as art, though 'art' is such a wonderfully broad and diverse category that doubtless there can be overlaps. Certainly bits of philosophical text, and/or philosophical ideas can be part of an artwork (I remember seeing long passages of Wittgenstein reproduced as part of an artwork). I hear your question as invoking fascinating issues about the status of the discipline of philosophy. Firstly, (like art) it's not an empirical enterprise, and yet (unlike most art) it is answerable to matters empirical: if a patch of philosophy of mind turns out to be at odds with new discoveries in psychology or neuroscience about how the brain relates to psychological states, then the philosophy has to adjust); and philosophy's power to explain the phenomena it takes as its subject matter (linguistic, mental, ethical, political, metaphysical...) is surely dependent on its being empirically plausible at all those points where it purports to describe our practices and their point. Second, (unlike art) most philosophy is strictly bound by the discipline of rationality: philosophical positions are meant to be advanced as arguments, so that if their premises are false, that's a reason not to accept the conclusion, or if there is a false inference, that too is a reason not to accept.

On the other hand, it is philistine (in my view) to dichotomize philosophy and more artistic - notably, literary - aspects of culture. Some philosophy has conducted itself as if it purports to be like science, which is absurd. Philosophy is, or can be, a more creative enterprise and this can only be disguised by any attempt to model it on science. But I do not believe it is a creative enterprise in the manner of most art work. Philosophy's creativity is founded on the attempt to make explicit and make sense of naturally arising intellectual puzzles - puzzles that arise out of contradictions or tensions within our everyday concepts and practices (e.g. how come we take ourselves to know things, even while we also seem to take knowledge to require absolute certainty, and it also seems to us that we almost never possess absolute certainty?); or our everyday ethical interactions or attitudes (e.g. why do we accord humans special ethical status over animals? should we? why? or how far?). This kind of making-sense activity is the font of philosophy (in my view) and (a) art is not always aiming to make sense of things at all, and (b) even when it is aimed at making sense of things (as fiction very often is, for instance) I believe that the way it does that is fundamentally different because of the absense of what I described above as the discpline of rationality. Argumentation is a distinctive activity, a distinctive method of making sense of things, and that method is generally (happily) foreign to art.

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