is used as an unfavourable epithet to describe a philosophical
idea or system that the speaker does not like. It does not appear to be in use as a term within academic philosophy
Specifically, it is used to refer to something that the speaker believes to be not really be philosophy but only pretending. (The term pseudoscience can be used in a similarly pejorative way.)
For example, Schopenhauer wrote the following about Hegel:
- If I were to say that the so-called philosophy of this fellow Hegel is a colossal piece of mystification which will yet provide posterity with an inexhaustible theme for laughter at our times, that it is a pseudophilosophy paralyzing all mental powers, stifling all real thinking, and, by the most outrageous misuse of language, putting in its place the hollowest, most senseless, thoughtless, and, as is confirmed by its success, most stupefying verbiage, I should be quite right.
- -- Arthur Schopenhauer, On the Basis of Morality, trans. E.F.J.Payne (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1965), pp.15—16 ( (http://www.geocities.com/krishna_kunchith/humor/quotations#hegel))
A search on Google for "pseudophilosophy" will likely produce several dozen hits-–many of them referring to Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, to pick a prominent example. It is clear from examining most of these entries that the writer using the pejorative tends to disapprove of Ayn Rand’s views and, therefore, considers them unworthy of philosophical study. The quality of explanation for this dislike, however, will generally be far below what is generally considered acceptable philosophical writing.
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