The Real Question: Can Philosophy Be Saved?

4 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2017

See all articles by Susan Haack

Susan Haack

University of Miami - School of Law; University of Miami - Department of Philosophy

Date Written: October 2017


This is Haack’s outspoken and heartfelt response to an invitation from the editor of Free Inquiry to write on “the future of philosophy.” It is true, Haack argues, as the editor suggests, that philosophy is in bad shape. But the cause is not, as he believes, the rising influence of religion in our field, and the cure that he proposes, a reaffirmation of commitment to “strict scientific naturalism,” is likely to make a bad situation worse. To understand the real causes, Haack argues, we should look to the perverse incentives now ubiquitous in universities, the dire effect of those “rankings” of philosophy graduate programs, etc.; and to improve the situation we must recognize that serious philosophy involves an effort to discover the truth, and cannot rely on slogans, whether religious or anti-religious.

Keywords: philosophy; religion; science; scientism; universities; incentives

Suggested Citation

Haack, Susan, The Real Question: Can Philosophy Be Saved? (October 2017). Free Inquiry 37, no.6 (2017): 40-43.; University of Miami Legal Studies Research Paper No. 17-31. Available at SSRN:

Susan Haack (Contact Author)

University of Miami - School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 248087
Coral Gables, FL 33146
United States
305-284-3541 (Phone)
305-284-6506 (Fax)

University of Miami - Department of Philosophy ( email )

P.O. Box 248054
Coral Gables, FL 33124-4670
United States

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