Does Current Social Philosophy Develop Progressively?



This article begins with clarification of the notion of progress. The author believes that it is possible to consider progress objectively, if by progress we understand a positive change in the effectiveness of something. He mentions two types of progress: progress of improvement and progress of augmentation. He then distinguishes evaluative from reflective philosophy. Evaluative philosophy gives answers to the second and third of Kant's famous three questions; reflective philosophy answers the first, dealing with the limits of human knowledge. Progress in evaluative philosophy takes the form of augmentation. But in reflective philosophy it could take the form of improvement. The author believes, however, that it is not an easy task to improve contemporary social philosophy. Three main obstacles are: the “anthropological turn” in philosophy, the challenge of postmodernism, and the turning of social philosophy into a kind of useful knowledge.