Building on the argument of a 1996 piece called “For Theory,” which situated “theory” in a force field of its putative opposite terms, this essay explores the way “philosophy” has come to be considered an antonym of “theory” in much contemporary discourse. It argues that despite their often contrasting meanings and connotations, the two terms would benefit from a dialogue in which the strengths of each were acknowledged without their being either hierarchically positioned or turned into bland synonyms.

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