the purpose of philosophy


e̳̳̺͕ͬ̓̑̂ͮͦͣ͒͒h̙ͦ̔͂?̅̂ ̾͗̑
We consider it to be beneficial to record what is done, so that future generations can satisfy their curiosity and learn from the successes and mistakes of others. Despite an almost universal appreciation of the purpose behind recorded history, it has become common to suggest that science has made redundant our continuously recorded history of thought: philosophy.

Both science and philosophy allege to contribute to a growing body of knowledge: so the thinking goes. Yet, whereas the progress made in science is clear, where is the progress within philosophy? What was the last great discovery made by a philosopher, if there are any at all?

A pragmatist may point out that philosophy does not aid in the building of bridges or erecting of towers, and he would be mostly right. The idea that it is supposed to, though, is one that pragmatists must simply assert against tradition. Progress in philosophy is the progress of humanities collective thought: made when a new ways of thinking are discovered, or established ones critiqued.

We do not imagine that men will stop doing things, but will men stop thinking?

If we accept that philosophy will not give us technological progress, then to what end is it aimed? To find the answer to that, it may help if we consider our history of action: thoughts may be largely private, but they are actions after all. Why do we do anything?
Last edited: