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December 29, 2016 / compassioninpolitics

Is philosophy dead or not? Reflections on scientism, Hawking, and the New Atheism

Its not dead.  These quotes come from people who write in popular science areas and want to be controversial.

Here are six key reasons that philosophy is not dead.  The rumors of its death, are in fact, massive overblown:

  1. Philosophy is the backbone of reasoning, logic, and critical thinking.
  2. Philosophy is how we think about values and goals.
  3. Philosophy is how we think about ethics.
  4. Philosophy provides the bridge between the disciplines (e.g. theory).  This is what you study in 300 and 400 classes and grad school.
  5. Philosophy is the basis of our mission statements and our decisions in all areas of life.
  6. Philosophy is the assumptions that we have about everything in the world.
 I would also point out the following:

Well, it kind of depends on what it means. What does it mean for philosophy to be dead?

It is seemingly self-contradictory, because if it was dead—I would think you would use philosophy to communicate it. When we say something is dead sometimes the implication is it lacks something to contribute or be relevant or significant.

Dead compared to what? What disciplines aren’t dead? Are there other disciplines that are dead? (Perhaps also, what would make it come alive?)

But more to the point—philosophy is alive or at least has the potential to be alive:

  • I would say the Constitution is practiced everyday by lawyers and judges across the country. Philosophy isn’t dead.
  • Ethics, justice, responsibility, duty, integrity, and virtue are issues on the evening News every single night. In fact, they may in fact be the most prominent (although we experience them as the lack of those things).
  • Philosophy is only dead in the sense that it hasn’t done its job to keep these as a part of the cultural zeigheist and cultural consciousness.

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