2013-02-12

Unpopular philosophy

My comment on an article in the Guardian.
I'll risk being the punk on this.

Philosophy and many other "humanities / arts" disciplines do address timeless issues (i.e. problems which are highly relevant to anyone, anywhere), however, academia has completely slacked off over the years, and failed to bridge contemporary vernacular with the language of the academy.

In the marketing of philosophy (i.e. the rhetoric regarding why philosophy should be in demand), the "messaging," about the Anglo-American philosophical tradition's core positioning that "we're really fucking up our life through language," remains starkly ignorant of (or in stark disagreement with) the position I raise above.

Philosophy-about-philosophy can assert a framework that the business of philosophy broadly covers epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics. These are roughly explained as fields stemming from the questions "how do we know what we know?" "what should we do?" and "what are we discussing, exactly?" The three questions are really quite omnipresent, and have their applications in business analyses, engineering analyses, and operational risk management analyses in general... which is what philosophy really is about: checking and double-checking your opportunity cost, for the assumption of any belief.

Philosophy provides the student with many tools, for the attack upon both uncertainty (general fuzzyheadedness) and over-certainty (general instinctiveness).

It's a shame that professional "philosophers," have failed to properly market the identity of their discipline. Outside of that, many amateurs, such as myself, and others who have never known the formal definition of "philosophy," are happily practicing philosophy outside the classroom.

[Street cred: I have a BA from a US liberal arts college with a major in Philosophy, and seven years of programming / business experience in professional services, from suit-and-tie think tanks, down to shorts-and-flip-flops startup clients.]

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