Philosophy Moves

Australasian Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
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In this paper, I introduce the notion of ‘philosophy moves’: prominent tropes featured in contemporary academic philosophy. Moves are more than patterns – they are tools for advancing and enriching philosophical debates. By recognizing these patterns in the philosophical literature, we collect an ensemble of moves for deployment in novel contexts, each with the potential to forge new paths of philosophical investigation through a given topic. The moves featured in this paper are constructive and progressive, with the potential to push past stalemates and open up a wider conceptual landscape. Following a presentation of five exemplars taken from the philosophy of biology literature, I show how different moves could be made within a current interdisciplinary debate. Overall, I aim to demonstrate that recognizing these patterns is insightful pedagogically and potentially useful when put to use as part of one’s philosophical methodology.

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