Sunday, May 18, 2008

Well, I wonder ...

... and you may, too: Is Philosophy Relevant? (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

Once the question is raised about a subject's relevance, you know it's in trouble to some extent. I think this is one of those cases where the question needs to be put more precisely: Is academic philosophy relevant? My reflexive answer would be that it never has been relevant, that turning philosophy into an academic discipline defeats its purpose, which has to do - or so I think - with finding a why for living. All sorts of things are not necessarily improved by being turned into courses. Literature, for example. Though please do not misunderstand: As I have made plain here a number of times, my life was enriched by encounters with great teachers. But what made those tachers great was that they never lost sight of the connection between the subjects they were teaching and life.

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