January 19, 2018 – Our sharpest break with the tradition has come with the realization of the disunity of knowledge (of thought, the mind, the world, and pretty much else that concerns philosophy). We are no longer trying to construct “a system;” we are not looking for “the foundations” of a single structure; we have abandoned the belief in completeness and in our capacity to make everything cohere.
Do we have to be as pessimistic about the future of philosophy as you are in your latest book? (See January 12, 2018) I still hold some hope for the subject and believe it, in fact, to be needed today more than ever.
That said, I agree with you that the current state of philosophy is not good. You are right that philosophy as conducted in our Universities and Colleges seems to be turning more and more into a propaedeutic enterprise for future lawyers. But what we call “philosophy” has often been two very different things: on the one hand, a scholastic undertaking for schooling young minds, and, on the other, a creative form of thinking on “fundamental” issues and the latter has frequently taken place outside the educational institutions. Of the philosophical thinkers you discuss in your book only some were professors. Socrates was a public gadfly and nuisance, Lucretius a poet, Augustine a bishop, Montaigne a bit of a hermit, and Hobbes a courtier. It may turn out that the most serious thinkers of the future will not be found in philosophy departments.
Raymond Geuss, Changing the Subject. Philosophy from Socrates to Adorno, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass. 2017 January 12, 2018 – Does philosophy have a future? That is the question Raymond Geuss asks in his latest book. And the answer he gives is unsettling. Philosophy, as we have known it, may,…