Thursday, April 12, 2007

What's Wrong with Contemporary Philosophy?

[cross-listed at SUPHI]

Here's an interesting article that attempts a diagnosis of contemporary philosophy and why it seems not to progress or hold much external sway.'sWrong.pdf (Hat tip Stephen Hicks)

I am sympathetic to the points made in the article, in particular regarding analytic philosophy. Analytic philosophy has, in its current academic form, largely become irrelevant, esoteric, and insular. What used to be -- and still is billed as such -- the quest for asking and answering "The Big Questions" has become overly concerned with technical terminology and peculiar puzzles.

Can you really imagine Aristotle at the Lyceum worrying about whether it is a logical possibility for a cat to give birth to an elephant? I recall several times thinking in a seminar: "if we resolved this _fill in the blank_ puzzle, definitely and once for all, what difference does it make?"