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The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering

Matthieu Queloz


Why did such highly abstract ideas as truth, knowledge, or justice become so important to us? What was the point of coming to think in these terms? In The Practical Origins of Ideas, Matthieu Queloz presents a philosophical method designed to answer such questions: the method of pragmatic genealogy. Pragmatic genealogies are partly fictional, partly historical narratives exploring what might have driven us to develop certain ideas in order to discover what these do for us. The book uncovers an under-appreciated tradition of pragmatic genealogy which cuts across the analytic–continental divide, ... More

Keywords: concepts, genealogy, pragmatism, state of nature, history, David Hume, Friedrich Nietzsche, Edward Craig, Bernard Williams, Miranda Fricker

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780198868705
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198868705.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Matthieu Queloz, author
University of Oxford