The avoidance of doing architecture

June 4th, 2013

The Philosophers Magazine interviewing Nigel Warburton of Philosophy Bites podcast – with a minor adjustment in bold by me:

“A lot of professional philosophers architects lack the imagination required to think about what it’s like not to understand something. Some have got into a complacent habit of speaking to each other in a kind of technical language, which is almost at times the avoidance of doing philosophy architecture. They’re part of a culture of people who always say the same things and make the same moves: just making finer and finer discriminations between whether they’re a particular kind of materialist or a particular kind of functionalist. People stake out little claims. When faced with the need to explain what they’re doing and why it should be of interest to anyone at all outside of that culture, many flounder.

“Not the best ones, interestingly. The really significant philosophers architects are able to explain with superb clarity precisely what it is that matters about a topic. Not just for others with similar interests but for anybody who might be concerned with philosophy architecture at all. Weaker philosophers architects hide behind a series of coded nods and winks to each other. This often betrays a lack of clarity of thought.”

I can also recommend the most recent episode on analytic vs continental thinking for a similar what-if-this-were-about-architecture exercise.

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