After more than 2500 years of philosophy, it is very hard to leave a new and lasting trace in this perennial human enterprise. A pretty sure sign of such a trace is that people begin to wonder what exacdy it is that the philosopher claims. To ask such a question is to do historiography of philosophy; its task is not to figure out whether what is being claimed is true and whether how it is argued for is valid. Rather, the task is to decipher what is being claimed; after all, how are we to say whether a given proposition is true or an argument sound, if we don’t know what the proposition says or the argument is in the first place?
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