In False Wisdom, Gary H. Merrill develops criteria for distinguishing genuine from pseudo-philosophy, and then applies his criteria to several case studies, including Ayn Rand, all of whom he finds to be pseudo-philosophers. While offering a mostly helpful overview of better and worse ways of doing philosophy, Merrill fails to motivate adequately his way of distinguishing pseudo-philosophy from mere philosophical vices, errors, or failings. He is inconsistent in his characterization of the criteria for pseudo-philosophy and his application of those criteria, harbors a narrow conception of what counts as philosophy, and displays a lack of interpretive charity toward several thinkers.

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