‘Why study philosophy?’ Category

Happy World Philosophy Day!

My, my how the year has flown! It’s already World Philosophy Day again! This UNESCO-sponsored day seeks to…well, we can’t say it better than the director of UNESCO: “Faced with the complexity of today’s world, philosophical reflection is above all a call to humility, to take a step back and engage in reasoned dialogue, to […]

Why study philosophy? “Plato at the Googleplex” author weighs in

In this piece in the ATLANTIC MONTHLY, Rebecca Goldstein, philosopher and author of the recently-published book PLATO AT THE GOOGLEPLEX, offers her arguments for the study of philosophy, and also responds to scientists like Stephen Hawking, who have declared philosophy dead. Why do YOU think one should study philosophy? (Or why do you think it’s […]

What would John Dewey say?

Is college education job training? A recent radio interview by North Carolina Governor Patrick McCrory argues that it is–and he took the opportunity of the interviewer to take a poke at the liberal arts in general and gender studies in particular: “I don’t want to subsidize that if that’s not going to get someone a […]

Is there life after philosophy?

While traveling back from Baltimore recently, a young man—maybe 24 or 25—wedged his tall self into the middle seat next to me and proceeded to pull out a paperback book by Slavoj Žižek. Žižek, the Slovenian philosopher. That Žižek. Of course I had to talk to him. Confessional time out: I always talk to people […]

Take that, Novalis!

For at least two centuries, people who ought to know better have been alleging that “philosophy bakes no bread.”  Google the expression, and you’ll find it (or a version of it) attributed to that wildly prolific philosopher, It Has Been Said. I found a hand-scrawled note to myself, claiming that Bertrand Russell says it in […]

Philosophy alumni present

The philosophy department welcomed back three wonderful alumni–Tad Marinac, Shel Silvernail and Paul Tidemann–on Wednesday, March 18, for the semi-annual dinners-and-discussions that we call “Mom, Dad…I’m a Philosophy Major.” The Rev. Paul Tidemann (’60) provided us with a written copy of his remarks. Shel Silvernal (’90) discussed the ways in which her life as a […]