Philosophy in Crisis: The Need for Reconstruction (Prometheus Lecture Series)

Mario Bunge

Published by Prometheus Books, 2001
ISBN 10: 1573928437 / ISBN 13: 9781573928434
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Synopsis: Is philosophy dead? Some philosophers have declared it to be so, and judging by some of the mental acrobatics now fashionable in postmodernist circles a reasonable person might have to agree. Though recognizing the moribund state of current academic philosophy, Mario Bunge feels that this is a crisis from which the discipline can and will recover. To overcome the impasse Bunge argues that it is necessary to reconstruct philosophy by building a philosophical system that addresses real-world problems of everyday people in a clear, comprehensible fashion. The new system must be exact and compatible with contemporary science and technology. Above all, it should shun purely academic problems.

This book offers glimpses of such a system while avoiding technical jargon unfamiliar to the lay reader. It is thus accessible to the average educated reader interested in such perennial philosophical concerns as What is matter?, What is mind?, What is the nature of society?, Are there limits to our knowledge?, What are the criteria for distinguishing genuine science from pseudoscience?, and How should human rights be balanced with moral obligations? These questions will always be of interest to thinking human beings, says Bunge, and philosophy, rather than becoming a fruitless, self-referential academic game, should be the main intellectual tool for exploring and clarifying such all important issues.

From the Inside Flap: Is philosophy dead? Some philosophers have declared it so, and judging by some of the mental acrobatics now fashionable in post-modernist circles a reasonable person might have to agree. Such an obituary is premature, contends noted philosopher Mario Bunge, for people will continue to philosophize as long as they ask fundamental questions about the world and our place in it. What appears to be true is that academic philosophy is in crisis. In recent times there have been few new philosophical ideas that could help ordinary peole to understand their world, the nature and content of knowledge, or human action. Worse, some philosophers have actively contributed to this decadence by turning away from deep problems, comprehensive systems, and even reason itself.

Though recognizing the moribund state of current academic philosophy, in which insulated academics speak only to one another, Bunge feels that this is a crisis from which the discipline can and will recover. To overcome the impasse, Bunge argues, it is necessary to reconstruct philosophy by building a philosophical system that addresses real-world problems; is exact and compatible with contemporary science; and, above all, shuns purely academic problems.

PHILOSOPHY IN CRISIS sketches an outline of what such a system would look like while avoiding technical jargon unfamiliar to the lay reader. Here at last is a volume readily accessible to educated readers who are intrigued by such perennial concerns as: What is matter? What is mind? What is the nature of society? Are there limits to our knowledge? What are the criteria for distinguishing genuine science from pseudoscience? How should human rights be balanced with moral obligations? These questions and others like them will always be of interest to thinking human beings, says Bunge, and philosophy should be the main intellectual tool for exploring and clarifying such all-important issues.

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Title: Philosophy in Crisis: The Need for ...
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publication Date: 2001
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New
Edition: 1St Edition.

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