n.1.An assistant or subordinate laborer.
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Empiricists are supposed to be defenders of the truth-conducivity of natural science, but Locke's skepticism about real essences sits uneasily with his self-conception as an underlaborer clearing the ground for scientific inquiry (pp.
When I spend any time at all with Chardin, I think of what the shade of Achilles says when Odysseus seeks to console him for having died: It is better to be alive, even as a poor, landless underlaborer in the service of another man, than king over "all the perished dead.
That view is influenced too much by the old idea of philosophy as underlaborer, clearing away the muddles.
For the lack of a positive metaphilosophy demonstrating the meaningfulness and autonomy of philosophy -- which, Donagan thinks, could consist only in a strong commitment to a priori methods, truths, and knowledge -- epistemically starved philosophers have returned faut de mieux to Locke's model of the philosophical underlaborer.