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The Philosopher as Detective

Colin Harper investigates the case of Ernst Bloch.

In Philosophy Now No.3 Peter Rickman compared the activity of a philosopher to that of a spy. Whilst I completely agree with his comments on the usefulness of such comparisons for philosophical self-understanding, I do not find the image of ‘spy’ all that apt. He suggests two defining characteristics of spying. Firstly, that the knowledge sought by the spy is not only hidden, but secret, that the obstacles to attaining such knowledge are there by design.