Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Can Philosophy Be Justified in a Time of Crisis?

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

"I take the position that a large portion of contemporary academic work is an appalling waste of human intelligence that cannot be justified under any mainstream normative ethics," writes Nathan Robinson. He's writing about philosophy but he could be writing about a lot of academia generally (not all, though, and that's an important distinction). I have asked this question of myself, and knew I'd never be able to just teach philosophy at an institution. It's more important than that. We discussed this morning how we achieve a 'work-life balance' and I replied that I don't have one: my life is my work, and my work is dedicated to making the lives of people better. Singer resonates with me: "we all know it would be wrong to watch a child drown in front of you and do nothing, so why is it okay to let children die far away from you and do nothing?" (P.S. I feel very self-conscious saying stuff like this so mostly I don't, but it's there, behind all my work.)

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jun 14, 2024 06:11 a.m.

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