Michel Meyer's Problematology
Questioning and Society
To be human is to question. This act of questioning is the essence of philosophy, as it allows ontology and epistemology to exist. For example, to understand what it is to be we must first ask the question of what it is to be. This insight, of the primacy of questioning, is at the heart of problematology, a philosophical approach explored in Nick Turnbull‘s new book Michel Meyer’s Problematology: Questioning and Society (Bloomsbury, 2014). The book has two core aims, to introduce problematology to the Anglophone world and to show how this approach can be useful for the social sciences. In particular the book mounts a defence of social science, grounded in the way problematology carves out a specific role for philosophy. The book ranges across Meyer’s work, including aesthetics, rhetoric, philosophies of science and language and political philosophy. The text engages with several key authors in post structuralism, including Derrida, showing the usefulness of Meyer’s thought for contemporary philosophy. However it goes beyond just the philosophical, illustrating how the neglect of Mayer in the English speaking world has missed the chance to found a new research programme in social science.