What is philosophical methodology?

Josh Dever

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This article discusses what kind of thing a philosophical methodology (good or not) is or would be, and what kind of questions would count as methodological. The primary focus is on a “higher-order” reading, on which admissible answers are the epistemological methods that distinguish philosophy from the natural sciences and the humanities, or the pursuit of a description of reality at the most fundamental level. The article uses the term “Philosophical Methodology” to pick out questions of the higher order, and “philosophical methodology” for questions of the lower order. To provide a robust data pool, it takes all occurrences of the word “methodological” in entries of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophynford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, and considers what plausible theories of Philosophical Methodology can be fitted into that range of usage. It also discusses seven hypotheses that account for the nature of Philosophical Methodology: Eliminativism, Working-Hypothesism, Epistemologism, Theory Selectionism, Necessary Preconditionalism, Hierarchicalism, and Eliminatedivism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology
EditorsHerman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler, John Hawthorne
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191749667
ISBN (Print)9780199668779
Publication statusPublished - 3 Aug 2016


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