Saturday, October 24, 2009

Philosophy progressing towards irrelevance?

From the latest Adbusters article, entitled The End of Philosophy:
"My [philosophy] professors amaze me with their ability to clearly elaborate on any subject, but they never apply their timeless wisdom to reality. Instead of rigorously debating the problems of today, my professors lull the class to sleep with lackluster lectures on trivial topics. Do I possess a priori knowledge? What is the form of me? Am I a thinking thing? Let’s be honest: being lost in the clouds never saved a child from starvation and it never will...

If we are to believe that philosophy is some guy’s opinion, then we have forgotten the essence of philosophy. Philosophy is the touchstone of all progress. We must remember that philosophy is the purest form of dissent. If we do not ask questions, if we do not question authority, if we do not pressure ourselves, then society will never advance. All progress comes from change, and philosophers used to be the backbone of change. Whether we go back thousands of years to Socrates’ “corrupting the youth” or more recently to Bertrand Russell’s condemnation of the Vietnam War, it is obvious that philosophers used to take a stand against a callous system. Now they simply summarize and overanalyze all the irrelevant aspects of life. "


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Anonymous1:48 PM

    Hmmm...."being lost in the clouds never saved a child from starvation and it never will..." itself posits a philosophical statement: that it is my duty to save starving children. What philosophy says I should save a starving child? At least one I'm sure that he is learning about in class. It's time spent in the clouds that provides the basis for action. Heidegger may seem esoteric and unnecessarily meticulous until you discover that much of his work was the basis for Hitler's Mein Kampf and the philosophical basis for subsequent atrocities.

    "Agriculture is now a motorized food industry, the same thing in its essence as the production of corpses in the gas chambers and the extermination camps, the same thing as blockades and the reduction of countries to famine, the same thing as the manufacture of hydrogen bombs."