Thursday, May 30, 2019
Importance of Philosophy in the Modern World :: Philosophy Religion Essays
The Importance of Philosophy in the Modern World   Many of the philosophers we have been reading in class come along to me to be hopelessly go out (although some of them express useful ideas and/or make good points). Of course, its easy to become trapped in writing only for the period a person lives in, and a philosophy is necessarily dependant on the historical situation and the extent of mans knowledge. And many of the philosophers who have existed over the course of the centuries have necessarily had to dread about governmental, church, or societal disapproval, censorship, or punishment. (Socrates, for instance, was sentenced to death by a court for the crime of explaining his ideas.)   However, Victor Hugo said that if he were writing for his own period only, he would have to break his pen and throw it away (or something like that). As so it seems that, in order for a philosopher to be relevant for the succeeding(a) as well as the present, he must take into accoun t all of the objections to his philosophy which go off be anticipated at the present time. (Since we be not omnipotent, thats the best we can do.) And it seems to me that the most frequent objections to modern and premodern (but not postmodern) philosophers come from the incompatibility of their philosophies with what is considered to be established scientific fact. For instance, Platos theory of forms does not, to me, seem to ensure with modern physics and cosmology. And although I can only vaguely glimpse the psychology which underlies Kant, it seems to be highly questionable. (In my view, application of Kants epistemology and metaphysics could never produce an artificial information capable of passing a Turing test.)   And so, it seems to me, the best way that a philosopher can keep from being dated (not in the romantic sense many seem to have no problem with that) is to be aware of scientific knowledge, and integrate it into philosophy. Of course, this necessitates an i ndependent evaluation of the merits and drawbacks of a given scientific idea, which necessitates, in turn, a careful knowledge of that theory.   After all, physics can (it seems to me) give us insights into metaphysics, since both seek different ways to do the same thing psychology, sociology, anthropology, and archeology can give us insights into epistemology various soft sciences dealing with comparative cultures can provide food for thought in ethics, and so on.