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New Ideal - Reason | Individualism | Capitalism

Philip Kitcher’s Critique of Today’s Useless Philosophy

In this episode of New Ideal Live, Ben Bayer, Mike Mazza and Aaron Smith discuss What’s the Use of Philosophy?, a recent book by leading philosopher Philip Kitcher, in which Kitcher calls out academic philosophy for its useless work and corrupt methods.

Among the topics covered:

  • Why it is significant that an established professor of philosophy has written a damning critique of his own profession;
  • Kitcher’s radical claim that philosophy has become disconnected from life, practical guidance, and useful methods, and his willingness to question whether the profession has any legitimate value;
  • How Kitcher goes wrong by recommending a methodological turn towards pragmatism;
  • Why the philosophy of science is noticeably working from better premises than other areas of academic philosophy;
  • Why fundamental philosophic questions are crucially practical and must not be thrown out in favor of less ambitious, piecemeal investigation;
  • Why, contrary to Kitcher’s pragmatist view, Objectivism says that the most abstract philosophic questions have the widest practical consequences.

Mentioned in this podcast and relevant to the discussion are Ayn Rand’s “The Chickens’ Homecoming,” “Philosophy: Who Needs It,” “For the New Intellectual,” the entry on Linguistic Analysis in the Ayn Rand Lexicon, and Onkar Ghate’s “Let’s Revive Philosophy”.

This episode was recorded on July 19, 2023. Listen to the discussion below. Listen and subscribe from your mobile device on Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify or Stitcher. Watch archived podcasts here.

Podcast audio:


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