On Philosophy, Intelligibility, and the Ordinary

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On Philosophy, Intelligibility, and the Ordinary: Going the Bloody Hard Way

Randy Ramal
Publication Date: January, 2021

Randy Ramal argues that philosophy’s main responsibility lies in providing intelligibility to the ordinary language of everyday life while dispelling unwarranted skepticism. Philosophers need to go the hard way to fulfill this responsibility because of the constant and dangerous temptation to turn philosophy into a normative discipline rather than keep it as a descriptively hermeneutical enterprise. In On Philosophy, Intelligibility, and the Ordinary: Going the Bloody Hard Way, the philosophy of Alfred North Whitehead is central to Ramal’s endeavor to demonstrate the need to separate the hermeneutical responsibility of philosophy from the normative aspects of responsibility. While showing the futility of labeling Whitehead as a purely disinterested philosopher who abandons the idea that ordinariness is relevant to good philosophical thinking, Ramal frames this discussion within a larger, in-depth engagement with a vast number of thinkers, philosophers, and literary figures whose works touch on the question of the ordinary.