Quora answer: How has philosophy made progress on fundamental questions?

The basis for the progress in the Western Worldview in general is the progress that Philosophy has made. After all it is the root of all other Scientific Disciplines. Philosophy was Natural Philosophy up until Socrates. However, the idea of progress itself is somewhat questionable. Why do we need to make Progress? Heidegger rebelled against this by asking the same question over and over trying to get more and more profound answers without actually leaving his initial starting place.

A better question would be how profound are our answers to fundamental questions. Since the most profound answers seem to still be those of Plato, it does not look good for Philosophy making either progress or deepening our understanding to make it more profound. Philosophy seems to be regressing. Look at the scandal of the failure of the program of Analytical Philosophy. Continental Philosophy on the other hand seems locked into ever increasing Nihilism. But at least it is not vamped like Analytical Philosophy. It at least has an interesting cast of characters.
So what shall we say? Philosophy means love of knowledge. So one question we might ask is whether we love knowledge any deeper? Growth of Universities seems to suggest we do.
It is a tough Question if you never expected to make progress, but only discover like Socrates that all you know is how ignorant you really are. I at least have made progress in that.

http://www.quora.com/How-has-philosophy-made-progress-on-fundamental-questions

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Posted January 26, 2011 by kentpalmer in Uncategorized

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