Serious Philosophy

13 Pages Posted: 21 Dec 2016

See all articles by Susan Haack

Susan Haack

University of Miami - School of Law; University of Miami - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: 2016


What is serious philosophy? What does it demand of us? And is it true, as some suppose, that a philosopher can’t be serious about his work unless he is solemn and humorless? Calling on ideas from C.S. Peirce, Haack argues first that philosophy is a serious form of inquiry, requiring real commitment and real intellectual effort, and then that playfulness and humor may actually be of help in such inquiry, while solemnity and self-importance will, for sure, impede it .“The serious philosopher,” she concludes “must indeed work in earnest ― but not in grim earnest.”

Keywords: Philosophy, Seriousness, Humor, C. S. Peirce

Suggested Citation

Haack, Susan, Serious Philosophy (2016). Spazio filosofico 18 (2016): 395-407; University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17-2. Available at SSRN:

Susan Haack (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States
305-284-3541 (Phone)
305-284-6506 (Fax)

University of Miami - Department of Philosophy ( email )

P.O. Box 248054
Coral Gables, FL 33124-4670
United States

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