——–Illustrasjon: Åsne Dorthea Grøgaard——–
Few subjects in modern academia are as self-reflective as philosophy. Much effort has been spent on understanding what the aim of philosophical inquiry is, and which practices and methods will get us there. An instructive way of getting a handle on these issues is to compare philosophy with other forms of inquiry. Look at all the branches of science and see what similarities and dissimilarities in subject matter, aims, and methods between them and philosophy you can find, and maybe that way you’ll learn something about the nature of philosophy. A first question to ask: Is philosophy a science?
Timothy Williamson is the Wykeham Professor of Logic at the University of Oxford. He has published influential work in several fields, amongst other philosophical logic, philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics. Williamson has also greatly contributed to philosophy’s view of itself, by his writings on the methodology and nature of philosophy. Therefore, when we had the chance to interview Williamson, we decided to ask him about his thoughts on the scientific status of philosophical inquiry, and its relationship to the other sciences. We are happy to present his thoughts on these matters to the reader: