学术哲学迷路了吗?

(An improved 和 updated version of this essay has appeared 在 my book 简要介绍。以下版本仅供保留。)


Philosophy is the discipline of human thought that allows us to 在 terpret 和 make sense of our experience of ourselves 和 of reality, thereby giving meaning to our lives. While science constructs models of reality to predict what will happen with certain arrangements of matter 和 energy under certain circumstances, philosophy asks the questions: What does it mean when reality behaves 仿佛 这些模型是真的吗?这一切与我们作为生命实体的状况有什么关系?没有哲学,科学仅是技术的推动者。尽管它没有告诉我们有关“自然的本质”的任何信息 理查德·费曼的最大希望。科学提供了大多数起作用的机械工具,但即使是由科学家完成的,它也是哲学,  解释 those tools 在 the framework of reality 和 of our being. This way, the importance of philosophy for giving meaning to our lives 能够 not be overestimated. Yet, for over a century now, I believe, philosophy has lost its way 和 become nearly irrelevant to most educated people.

如果您要求受过良好教育的非哲学家按时间顺序列出关键哲学家的简短列表,那么他(她)可能会以苏格拉底或柏拉图开头,提到一些关键名称,如斯宾诺莎或笛卡尔,也许以 尼采。尼采对整个人类思想的贡献以及他在社会上的文化影响是不可否认的。他指导了我们文化从有神论到世俗世界观的转变,并探讨了这种转变对我们寻找生活意义的巨大影响。无数的人已经阅读他并受到他的启发。政治运动,例如德国的纳粹政权,已经挪用和歪曲了尼采的政治目的。这个人对人类的心理影响很大。但是尼采死于20世纪初。您知道20或21世纪有多少哲学家对我们的文化产生过类似的影响? 20世纪的哲学发生了什么?

发生的事情是哲学变得学术化和部门化。就其本身而言,这没有任何问题。相反:这是对哲学意义的认识。但是一个副作用是,在试图模仿科学和数学以在学术界获得更多尊重时,学术哲学越来越形式化。学术哲学家处理的问题越来越严格地界定和界定。最终,问题被如此严格地限制和限制,以至于它们与广大受过教育的人们的生活无关。学术哲学变得如此形式化,以至于开始类似于高度抽象的数学逻辑或语言学形式,与我们对现实的直接体验相去甚远。那时,它为自己赢得了“分析哲学。很少有人比这个描述的过渡更好。 艾伦·沃茨 这个简短的谈话。确实,也许20世纪最伟大的学术哲学家是 路德维格·维特根斯坦,但是他感动了多少生命?有 曾经  heard of him? How many people are able to read 和 understand his "famous" book 罗非鱼哲学?您会发现,存在的重大本体论问题,例如现实的本质和人类生活的意义,被尼采,康德,歌德(在诗人之前我认为是哲学家),柏拉图甚至荣格这样的人坚定地解决了。 (在精神科医生之前我认为是哲学家)被排除在外;它们不能以足够正式的术语来描述。换句话说,他们是 fluffy and flaky, not enough amenable to strict, objective argumentation. Even the elusive 和 suspicious notion of "philosophical proof," an echo of mathematics, gained popularity among academic 哲学家. Was academic philosophy being 在 spired by science 和 mathematics, or was it of science 和 mathematics?

Today, the role academic 哲学家 should play 在 helping us all make sense of our lives, of our psychology, of our culture 和 science, of our historical nexus, 和 of our condition as living entities 在 general, has been left to others: priests, 在 spirational speakers, self-help literature, psychotherapists, 和 even scientists. This is a tragedy; it has caused our civilization to lose its bearings. Terence McKenna once talked about the consequences of this as a "巴尔干化 of epistemology." Where are the Plato's, Nietzsche's, Kant's, Goethe's, 和 Jung's of our times? Who is guiding us to construct sensible worldviews 和 relate to reality 在 a mature manner? Not academic 哲学家, but the evening news anchor, unfortunately; because academic 哲学家 are locked away 在 obscure conferences discussing unfathomably abstract issues of little relevance to the educated person on the street. Academic philosophy has shunned its own humanity, losing its link to our culture 在 the process.


Academic philosophy has succumbed to the 在 sane notion that the original approach of classical philosophy, which harmoniously 在 tegrated the subjective 和 objective aspects of the human being, was 在 ferior (instead of complementary!) to those of science 和 mathematics. It began to believe that to "prove" an idea was more important than for that idea to 谐振 with the 在 nermost selves of people 和, thereby, make a true difference. Like a teenager unsure of his or her identity when standing next to older bullies, academic philosophy became blind to its own value, seeking 在 stead to become something it didn't need to, 和 perhaps couldn't, be. In doing so, it forfeited its own role 和 relevance 在 our culture。你看,迄今为止,唯一的现实载体 能够  know is conscious experience. And conscious experience, while projecting objectivity onto the world at large, is fundamentally affective. By denying the affective nature of reality, academic philosophy has alienated itself from a large 和 significant part of what it means to be a human being alive 在 the world. In seeking to become more objective 和 real, it ended up distancing itself from reality.

As our civilization begins to face the 在 herent contradictions of the way it relates to reality 和 life, we need philosophy more than 曾经 . The absence of 真实,完整 philosophy is not a symptom, but a cause of the current world crisis. Academic 哲学家 must wake up, find their own identity 和 cultural role again, 和 make a palpable contribution to society at large. 没有质量指导,我们就无法度过这场危机. The advances of 分析哲学, developed at such great cost over the last one hundred years, must be 在 tegrated (not discarded) 在 to a renewed philosophy, but one that takes on board the broader nature of the human being 和 reality. A new path must be found; one that brings academic philosophy closer to the people 和 the culture.

这件事很紧急。
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6条评论:

  1. Thank 您 for a most 在 teresting article, Bernardo, 和 I very much enjoyed the videos 您 posted. Frankly, I didn’t know much about Nietzsche 和 only vaguely imagined that 在 some way he was associated with Nazism – I wasn’没有意识到他的工作被挪用了。

    我对他的看法是他是真诚的,但被误导了。社会越来越趋向世俗人道主义的事实并没有’重申以下观点“God is dead”. It’s a point of view, but not one I accept; nonetheless, if one does accept it, one 能够 see how profoundly depressing a philosophy it is, 和 how impossible it was for Nietzsche or anyone else to come up with a coherent way of dealing with the world.

    在另一点上,二十世纪/二十一世纪的哲学家(但怀特黑德呢?)可能已经很大程度上放弃了大问题,但有人怀疑这是否至少部分是因为他们认为他们的前任已经涵盖了大问题。地面。

    我认为问题实际上仍在解决,尽管可能不是“philosophers”该术语的学术用法。我们’re both fond of 艾伦·沃茨 , for example, whose Wikipedia entry does actually say he was a philosopher (though whether other 哲学家 would agree, I don’t know), 和 there are people like Ken Wilber 和 even Rupert Sheldrake. There might be a dearth of “philosophers” as such who are still 在 terested 在 和 exploring the great existential questions, but I actually think there may be a burgeoning of people of high 在 tellect with an 在 terest 在 them, associated with a burgeoning of general 在 terest 在 the lay public.

    换句话说,也许我不像你那么悲观。任何其他名字的玫瑰都会闻起来一样甜。

    迈克尔·拉金(Michael Larkin)

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    1. 嗨,迈克尔,
      与往常一样,您提出了几个有趣的观点。
      我也不同意尼采'的结论。我的意思是,他要发自内心地进行哲学研究,并与当时的时代精神联系在一起。与文化和人民息息相关。因此,我认为他在他的时代发挥了重要作用,帮助文化适应了人类最终对自己生命的意义负责的认识。那意味着那里仍然存在。要记住的另一件事是'关于哲学家的字面判断很难通过'一百多年后的思想和语言。例如,当尼采说"God was dead"他可能是指讽刺的,变形的老人基督教神坐在宝座上;他可能意味着我们人类需要对我们生活的意义和过程负责。
      You raise a good point about there having been important 哲学家 在 the 20th century, like 艾伦·沃茨 . I agree. My point was centred on _academic_ philosophy, which I think lost contact with the cuulture, with the zeitgeist of its time. Watts was not an academic philosopher, 和 neither is Wilber.
      而且'乐观是好事... ;-)

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  2. 罗伯托,非常有趣。
    But 路德维格·维特根斯坦 was a great philosopher of "our" times, as was Alfred North Whitehead. Many modern 哲学家 are still 在 terested 在 the big questions, I believe, see this book for example: http://www.amazon.com/Waning-Materialism-Robert-C-Koons/dp/0199556199/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1319202847&sr=1-1
    But I agree that it is unfortunate to leave metaphysical philosophy 在 the hands of people like Dawkins 和 Hawkins. Or "self help prophets",例如Chopra(尽管我尊重所有提到的三个)。

    桑特

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    1. Great examples 您 bring up! In the USA, the cultural debate is dominated by philosophy-dummies like Dawkins on one side, or evangelical priests on the other. This is an example of the gargantuan role academic philosophy is leaving open by cutting its connections with the culture. Philosophy departments 在 Universities are funded by us, tax-payers. We deserve more from professional 哲学家 than apathy 在 the face of a mounting cultural crisis. Cheers, BERNArdo. ;-)

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  3. Bernardo:您不会注意到哲学与政治之间的联系。我们已经超越了民族国家和民主制度,并将全球市场置于其位置。全球技术专家制生产产品和消费者。事物就是事物,人就是事物。我是我的大脑。由于万物都是万物,权力在于技术专家,他们操纵事物朝着功利目标迈进。分析哲学是这种后民主秩序的象征。没有比某些大众广告商灌输给我更高的真理或呼吁。最高的现实是技术的现实,是广泛构思的科学方法,最高的要求是对操纵技术的掌握。我们生活在修辞学时代,从定义上说,所有专业哲学家都是修辞学家。哲学只能是意识形态,或者是对无意义符号的形式操纵。理性,而不是理性,道德理想下的激情秩序,成为符号的形式操纵。哲学并不冷漠文化危机,它们是文化危机的主要宣传者和合法化的主要手段。关于为什么存在这个系统,我们必须问的不是对手的立场是否合理合理,而是谁将这些人安置在高等教育中而受益?

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    1. 我在很大程度上-也许完全在-与您在一起!在我即将出版的书中'Brief Peeks Beyond'我在一篇有关教育的文章中明确地指出了这一点。从现在开始,也许这是我应该重点强调的事情...

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