Essay The Future of Philosophy

Essay The Future of Philosophy

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The Future of Philosophy


Higher education worldwide is affected by budget cuts and dwindling financial resources. Today, science and scholarship can only find broad recognition if their endeavors provide material success. If subjected to the rigours of the market, the humanities do not score favorably, and it seems that in the scale of profit-making disciplines philosophy ranks last. In order for academic philosophy to maintain itself in these times, two goals need to be pursued consistently: a) philosophy should address problems of practical concern — such as society's ethical, social, and even metaphysical needs — presenting them in a commonly accessible fashion; b) philosophers should draw material from other academic disciplines — linguistics, neurophysiology, archaeology, biology, psychology, mathematics, astronomy and other specializations — for their own speculation, taking advantage of the integrative functions of philosophy to promote the cooperation between all disciplines. The retreat of academic philosophy in our time is due in part to its faulty policy. Nevertheless, there is much evidence that philosophy as a common human activity will endure because it appeals to a fundamental need: to reconsider knowledge and to go on inquiring when empirical research has reached its limits.

Any discussion of the 'future of philosophy' must needs be a lengthy matter. In order to gain a specific starting point, I would like to restrict my topic a little by asking: Does philosophy have a future? Is it likely that philosophical research will proceed indefinitely? And is there any well-founded likelihood that our philosophical achievements will still find an interested audience in the next century? A scholar who deals with con...


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... Austrian Intellectual History in Vienna.

(2) Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association November 1995, Vol. 69, No. 2, p. 144f. Nussbaum refers to the humanities in general but the context does not leave any doubt that philosophy is meant primarily.

(3) Helmuth Plessner: Die versptete Nation. ber die politische Verfhrbarkeit brgerlichen Geistes (1935). Stuttgart 1959 (Kohlhammer), pp. 150, 176

(4) Conversation Gerhard Vollmer - Joachim Jung 24.8.1994

(5) in German as: 'Der Niedergang der Vernunft. Kritik der deutschsprachigen Universittsphilosophie', Frankfurt 1997, Campus Publ.

(6) Lorenz B. Puntel: The History of Philosophy in Contemporary Philosophy: The View from Germany, Topoi 10/1991, p. 147

(7) ibid. p. 151f.

(8) Edmund Husserl: Philosophie als strenge Wissenschaft. Frankfurt 1965 (Klostermann), p. 66 {SEITE|9}

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