The book is primarily an essay on the epistemology of the sort of armchair knowledge that we can hope to achieve in philosophy. The possibility of such knowledge is not to be explained by reinterpreting philosophical questions as questions about words or concepts. Although there are philosophical questions about words and concepts, most philosophical questions are not about words or concepts: they are, just as they seem to be, about the things, many of them independent of us, to which the words or concepts refer. Nor is our linguistic or conceptual competence the basis for our philosophical knowledge; such competence merely enables us to ask the questions, without guiding us to the answers. Notions of analyticity do no explanatory work in epistemology. Nevertheless, a valuable residue of...

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