speculative philosophy

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speculative philosophy (countable and uncountable, plural speculative philosophies)

  1. (uncountable) Philosophy, especially traditional metaphysical philosophy, which makes claims that cannot be verified by everyday experience of the physical world or by a scientific method.
    • 1929, Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, Macmillan (New York), p. 4:
      Speculative philosophy is the endeavour to frame a coherent, logical, necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted.
  2. (countable) A particular philosophical school, system, or work representative of this kind of philosophy.
    • 1946, George Conger, "Method and Content in Philosophy," The Philosophical Review, vol. 55, no. 4, p. 405:
      In the period before the wars, some of the speculative philosophies, including pragmatism, developed supernaturalist theologies and idealistic metaphysics, while others discarded these traditional views in favor of sweeping Spencerian or Bergsonian theories about nature.