Friday, August 25, 2017

The Devaluation of the Humanities

I was once very interested in metaphysics. And I wanted to know about science and the origin of the universe. But it soon occurred to me that there were matters of humanity that were left unanswered by these endeavors. How do I live a good life? What is a good life? It was at that time that I turned my attention to ethics.

There has been a recent devaluation of the humanities (as outlined in this article), including my beloved philosophy. Is this devaluation simply the result of our tendency to rate the value of things in economic terms? After all, the humanities doesn't generate much wealth. If so, the question I would ask is: why do we value economics? It seems to me that we must value it either for its own sake, or because it gets us something else. I don't think people value economics just for its own sake, so we must value it because it leads to something we want. But what is that? What do we really want? What should we really want? These are questions that economics can't answer. And human values exploration sit outside of the realm of science and technology. Answering questions about human values is the job of the humanities. So, if we want answers to these questions, we need the humanities. We need philosophy.

My life long mission has been to bring philosophy down from the heavens. I brought it to the city streets, and now I'm enjoying philosophy in the social media format of this century. We can keep the humanities alive, here, all of us.

-- Socrates