Avner Baz offers a critique of leading work in mainstream analytic philosophy, and in particular challenges assumptions underlying recent debates concerning philosophical method. In the first part of The Crisis of Method, Baz identifies fundamental confusions about what the widely-employed philosophical "method of cases" is supposed to accomplish, and how. He then argues that the method, as commonly employed by both "armchair" and "experimental"
philosophers, is underwritten by substantive, and poorly supported, "representationalist" assumptions about languageassumptions to which virtually all of the participants in the recent debates over philosophical method have shown themselves committed. In the second part of the book, Baz challenges those assumptions, both
philosophically and empirically. Drawing on Austin, Wittgenstein, and Merleau-Ponty, as well as on empirical studies of first language acquisition, he presents and motivates a broadly pragmatist conception of language on which the method of cases as commonly practiced is fundamentally misguidedmore misguided than even its staunchest critics have hitherto recognized.
Avner Baz received his MA degree in the Interdisciplinary Program for Fostering Excellence from Tel Aviv University. He went on to complete a PhD in philosophy from the University of Illinois, Chicago, under the supervision of Peter Hylton. Having been a Harper and Schmidt Fellow at the University of Chicago for four years, he has now been at Tufts University since 2004.
Introduction: Armchair Philosophy, Experimental Philosophy, and the Minimal Assumption 1: Methodological Confusion in Armchair and Experimental Philosophy 2: Internal Difficulties in Defending the Method of Cases, and the Claim of Continuity 3: The Method of Cases and the Representationalist Conception of Language 4: Contemporary 'Contextualism' and the Twilight of Representationalism 5: The Alternative Conception of Language 6: Acquiring 'Knowledge'-An Alternative Model 7: Conclusion: On Going (and Getting) Nowhere with our Words Appendix: Phenomenology and the Limitations of the Wittgensteinian Grammatical Investigation