Claudio Faschilli

On the Use of Etymology in Philosophy: An Analytical Study of a Continental Attitude

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Etymology; Continental Philosophy; Argumentation; Inferential Competence.

Continental philosophers often use the etymological analysis of a word as a tool of argument. The rationale behind this habit is that new philosophical truths can be found by analyzing the languages spoken by ancient cultures. In this article I try to investigate whether this method of argument based on etymologies could be justified from a rational point of view, and whether it is logically and philosophically valid. In the paragraphs at the beginning, I show the main shortcomings of this method, and I conclude that it is nothing but a logical fallacy (namely a kind of argument from authority). In the last paragraphs - which are the pars construens of the article - I maintain that there could be nonetheless a possible benefit in using etymologies. Indeed, my conclusion will be that tool for enriching the style of argumentation and in order to convey new semantic connotations. the inferential competence), and that they can also be a useful

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