Why Study Philosophy?
March 10, 2014
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The Atlantic interviews Rebecca Goldstein (New College of the Humanities).
In your new book, you respond to the criticism that philosophy isn’t progressing the way other fields are. For example: In philosophy, unlike in other areas of study, an ancient historical figure like Plato is just as relevant today.
There’s the claim that the only progress made is in posing problems that scientists can answer. That philosophy never has the means to answer problems—it’s just biding its time till the scientists arrive on the scene. You hear this quite often. There is, among some scientists, a real anti-philosophical bias. The sense that philosophy will eventually disappear. But there’s a lot of philosophical progress, it’s just a progress that’s very hard to see. It’s very hard to see because we see with it. We incorporate philosophical progress into our own way of viewing the world.