What Should Philosophy Do (Part 1)

Lost Generation Philosopher

Inspiring this series of posts (I’m thinking there might again be three) is John Horgan’s series on “What Is Philosophy’s Point?” in Scientific American (five installments, here, here, here, here, and here). I should begin by saying that I am delighted to see Horgan’s writings, whatever specific agreements or disagreements I may have. Scientific American has a fairly wide readership, much of it outside the confines of academia. At least that readership will see that the subject still exists, that it hasn’t been defunded by misguided university administrators, absorbed into so-called cognitive science, or buried under an avalanche of identity-politics.

Modern philosophy as an endeavor, enterprise, discipline, or whatever we want to call it, has never ceased to agonize over its identity — especially after the sciences came to dominate intellectual culture. Even philosophers who maintain they have found the perfect identity for their field…

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