The Real Question: Can Philosophy Be Saved?
Free Inquiry 37, no.6 (2017): 40-43.
4 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2017
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
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