Not Technically a Philosopher, But

Not Technically a Philosopher, But

Philosophers seem pretty territorial about their discipline. Whether that’s owed to high standards, insecurity, or something else, I don’t know. But we tend to be on guard when non-philosophers take up philosophical questions, cautious about assigning work in our classes that is by non-philosophers, and seemingly comfortable with deploying the phrase “not technically a philosopher.”

Let’s stipulate that someone is “technically” a philosopher when they have a PhD in philosophy or when they have a regular appointment in a philosophy department (“regular” as opposed to “affiliated” and the like). (UPDATE: see “addendum 2,” below)

My question: who is not technically a philosopher, but in your opinion does good philosophy?

A few things:
– If you want to explain why you’re naming the folks you’re naming, that would be great.
– Positive suggestions only, please. Feel free to disagree with others’ suggestions, in your head.
– What is “good philosophy”? You know it when you don’t see it.

ADDENDUM: Let’s keep things post-1900. Otherwise many canonical figures (Socrates,  etc.,) would not “technically” be philosophers.

ADDENDUM 2: As a correspondent pointed out, my definition quite stupidly excludes current philosophy graduate students from counting as philosophers in the “technical” sense. So let’s amend the stipulative definition of “technically a philosopher” to “having a PhD in philosophy, or working on a graduate degree in philosophy, or having a regular appointment in a philosophy department (“regular” as opposed to “affiliated” and the like).”

There are 76 comments

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an e-mail address