Sunday, July 27, 2008

Philosophy Talk is the Cure; Society is the Disease

A nice article in the LA Times about the nationally sydicated radio program, Philosophy Talk.

One of its hosts, Ken Taylor, comments on the improbability of a philosophy talk radio show making it, despite the hunger there is among some for intelligent public discussion:

"I think that our culture, our public discourse especially, is utterly debased. . . . It's meant to manipulate rather than enlighten and inform. . . . It's a disease that we've caught. Philosophy is one elixir, one magical elixir for helping to cure that disease."

That's my hope as well, though I suppose it depends on how we understand "philosophy". Is it a set of tools of rational and critical thinking? Or does doing philosophy mean understanding and thinking about a set of problems typically defined by the traditions of philosophers?

What should philosophy try to do in the public sphere?

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