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 Wilshire, this view of the philosopher as a Lockean "'underlaborer' to the empirical scientist" is anathema.
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. Donagan ends by suggesting that, on the contrary, some sort of reworking of Kantian doctrines on a more realistic basis is the only acceptable way to go: "In some ways, our task [as analytic philosophers] is like the one the nineteenth century left unfinished: that of reinterpreting Kant within the realist philosophical tradition, of finding a way of having Kant without his false Copernican revolution" (vol.
Comparing Dewey and Fuller, Remedios reveals Fuller's project as a place where philosophers, as social epistemologists, can claim their roles as intellectual arbiters and leave their roles as scientific underlaborers. By reimagining the role of philosophical inquiry, one may make explicit Remedios' latent answer to the question of "why" Fuller's social epistemology.--James H.