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What Makes a Similarity Superficial? An Exercise in the Methodology of the History of Philosophy

Filozofia, 78 (2023), 2, 128 - 135.
Typ článku: Úvahy - eseje
The essay reports on the author’s attempts to demonstrate similarities between prima facie divergent thinkers. Objections to this attempt have often concerned the question of the “superficiality” of the similarities noted. The paper examines these objections and proposes an understanding of the relevant concept of superficiality as a consequence of what Alan Nelson called “systematic interpretation”. Subsequently, Nelson’s view is challenged, and thus a space is opened up for a history of philosophy focused more on the similarities between different thinkers than on the supposed uniqueness and incomparability of their thought.
Kľúčové slová

Immanuel Kant, Baruch Spinoza, Methodology of the history of philosophy, Superficial similarities, Alan Nelson

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