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Philosophy: philosophy in action

Philosophy: philosophy in action November 29, 2005

It has long been a complaint of mine that philosophers of the 20th century paid too little attention to the issues that mattered to everyday folks. It’s a problem too for many who look at Buddhism in Western societies. But Buddhism gets off the hook as a kind of therapy for new-agers and those otherwise discontent with Western religious traditions. Philosophy is a failure from within, slipping out of the public eye, and as one of my professors recently remarked, ‘it doesn’t seem to be missed.’

What is the cure? What is the illness? Why has philosophy, the ‘queen of the sciences’, fallen from her throne into dejection and obscurity?

Are we (the philosophically inclined) victims of our own success? Adam Smith set forth the philosophy of free markets, John Locke gave us the sanctity of private property. What more could we want? We could be like the astrophysicists, they haven’t come up with much lately, have they? Well, I guess that ‘string-theory’ thing might be connected to them. But who cares if there are eleven dimensions, or only three or four?

But I digress. Philosophy was the topic; specifically ‘philosophy in action’. So my querry for all ye readers (are there any these days, besides tom and nacho?) is: what’s wrong with philosophy today? What could/should philosophers add to the contemporary conversation?


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