Symposium Introduction


Eli Minor
Bernáth Lászió
Jennifer H Lowell






Philosophy begins and ends in disagreement. Philosophers disagree among themselves in innumerable ways, and this pervasive and permanent dissent is a sign of their inability to solve philosophical problems and present well-established substantive truths.

This raises the question: “What should we do with our philosophical beliefs in light of philosophy’s epistemic failure?” In this open access book, János Tozsér analyzes the possible answers to this question, develops them into comprehensive metaphilosophical visions, and argues that we cannot commit ourselves to any of them in peace, with a clear intellectual conscience, and without self-deception.

Tozsér calls this disheartening insight “the experience of breakdown,” claiming that no matter how we struggle, we are unable to create substantive philosophical knowledge that goes beyond the cost-benefit analysis of philosophical theories. He makes the case that, at the same time, we cannot suspend all of our beliefs about the most fundamental facts of our world once and for all, and so forever give up on seeking substantive philosophical truths.

The eBook editions of this book are available open access under a CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 licence on Open access was funded by the Research Centre for the Humanities, Hungary.


Reviews and Endorsements


“A challenging and delightfully argued work of metaphilosophy – one that is not only astute on the details of particular contemporary arguments but reflects a depth of understanding of philosophy’s history.” ―Scott Aikin, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, USA

“János Tozsér offers an uncompromisingly honest assessment of whether philosophy achieves its own stated goals, and answers with an emphatic NO. I won’t give up philosophy after reading the book, and I hope neither will Tozsér, but I will have to rethink what I do when I do philosophy.” ―Katalin Farkas, Professor of Philosophy, Central European University, Austria

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