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Friday, June 14, 2013

14 June 2013

Today we have a very special edition of Filosophy Fridays for all of you Daily Quoters out there.
Philosophy os a strange kind of profession - it can be undertaken by anyone, is undertaken by everyone in a huge chunk of our conversations, yet it is widely dismissed as a real profession.

How can something to widespread, so retrospectively influential to our ideologies and social systems, be dismissed as such? What kind of people become philosophers by profession?

Today's Daily Quota comes from contributor Nick - a close friend of mine, an philosophical sparring partner, and the perfect man for the task.
Take it away!

When looking back at human achievement, one can see that we stand on the shoulders of giants. Appropriately, humans have become more interested in “higher” aspirations -Water from a tap, electricity from a socket and shelter built by contractors (called contractors for very good reasons); all for the purpose of achieving other things. 

Education has pushed and pulled this idea along, creating opportunities to produce better planes, medicine, and bridges, though arguably at some cost to our self worth. What has been taken by universities and morphed into an idea?: University = Job. True to say Lawyers, Doctors, and Engineers cannot operate in their chosen field unless they are qualified.

This weeks article is related to the debate of philosophy as a profession versus hobby. The Philosophers’ Magazine recently published an interview it conducted with Nigel Warburton, a newly resigned Professor of Philosophy at the Open University UK, and co-creator of Philosophy Bites podcast.

Other than discussing the mediums Warburton has used over the last few years, it talks about his experience as an academic and why he has left.

The question I want raise on this week’s Filosophy Fridays is: Who ought to do philosophy? Is it simply a matter for academics to ponder and squabble over minutiae, or is it an activity for all of us? 

The most recent advances in philosophy have tended to rely on mathematics and logic, descended from Aristotle and slightly harder for mere mortals to comprehend, though not out of reach. What really is in question is people’s commitment to philosophy i.e. how interested they are. As Socrates said, “the unconsidered life is not worth living”. Socrates was supposedly untrained, but did establish his own school in his later years.

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