Philosophy and Public Life

Philosophy in the Workplace

Mark Addis takes philosophy to work on a building site.

Philosophy deals with all aspects of human existence and most human problems benefit from the persistent questioning, assumption-testing and rational analysis which characterise philosophy as an activity. Therefore a major challenge for those of us who think for a living should be to communicate philosophy’s importance outside academia, especially to the general public. Instead, the increasing professionalisation of philosophy in the twentieth century was accompanied in the English-speaking world by a decrease in the amount of philosophy aimed at the public. As a result, philosophy has been undersold, and the creation of a English-language culture of public intellectuals has been inhibited. Improving this situation requires cooperation between professional philosophers and the educated general public.

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