Metaphilosophy Themes and Questions
A Personal List
Peter Suber, Philosophy Department, Earlham College

I made this list of questions primarily to help students appreciate what is distinctive about the branch of philosophy we call "metaphilosophy". Students who have no trouble understanding when a question is epistemological or ethical sometimes nevertheless have great trouble deciding whether a question is metaphilosophical. I've found that no straightforward definition of metaphilosophy helps students with this task. What does help, a bit, is to see a large number of metaphilosophical questions. My secondary purpose is making this list is to help students come up with paper topics, read philosophy with attention to its implicit metaphilosophy, and sort out their own metaphilosophical thoughts.

Table of Contents





Self-Reference and Self-Application

Immanence and Non-Immanence

Disagreement and Diversity

Primacy of the Practical

Philosophy good and bad

Philosophy and expertise

Ends of philosophy

Death of philosophy


Philosophy and assertion

Philosophy and exposition

Philosophy and style

Philosophy as literature

Literature as philosophy

Interpreting Philosophy

Philosophical beauty

Philosophy as science

Philosophy and related fields and activities

Philosophy and argument

Philosophy and wisdom

Philosophy and metaphilosophy

Philosophy and the folk

Philosophy and 'primitive' life

Philosophy and philosophers

Philosophy and pedagogy

Return to the Metaphilosophy course home-page.

Ribbon] Peter Suber, Department of Philosophy, Earlham College, Richmond, Indiana, 47374, U.S.A. Copyright © 1997-2000. Peter Suber.