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In defense of public philosophy

Daily Nous has run a guest editorial by C. Thi Nguyen defending “public philosophy.” Yes! In fact, it’s telling that public philosophy even needs defense. And defense from whom?

Here’s a pull quote from the last paragraph:

To speak bluntly: the world is in crisis. It’s war, the soul of humanity is at stake, and the discipline that has been in isolation training for 2000 years for this very moment is too busy pointing out tiny errors in each other’s technique to actually join the fight.

And this is from near the beginning:

We need to fill the airwaves with the Good Stuff, in every form: op-eds, blog posts, YouTube videos, podcasts, long-form articles, lectures, forums, Tweets, and more. Good philosophy needs to be everywhere, accessible to every level, to anybody who might be interested. We need to flood the world with gateways of every shape and size.

So, yes, of course!

Who then is Dr. Nguyen arguing against? Who does not support increasing the presence of public philosophy?

Answer: The bulk of the article in fact outlines what we have to do in order to get the profession of philosophy to accept public philosopher as an activity worth recognizing, rewarding, and promoting.

If that op-ed is a manifesto (it is), sign me up!

[Disclosure: I am an ex-academic philosophy professor whose writings sometimes impinge on actual philosophy.]

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