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Paul Graham’s ‘Geeks eye’ View of Philosophy…


Paul Graham’s essay on “How to do Philosophy” deserves a serious response. And there have been some, here, here, and here. Like many who begin studying philosophy, he’s disappointed that he didn’t find any magical, universal truths. And in reaction plays “gotcha” philosophy, trying to show why the history of philosophy is filled with wrong ideas. He ends up with a combination of early Wittgenstein and Utilitariansim. But this is clearly a geek’s eye view of philosophy. It doesn’t conform, so it must be bent and shaped into a reasonable algorithm. I’d suggest that Graham read more widely in late Wittgenstein and the work of Richard Rorty on Utilitarianism. Philosophy is more often about deepening a question, than the kind of fixed answers he seems to be searching for.

Published in language philosophy zettel