A lot of professional philosophers lack the imagination required to think about what it’s like not to understand something. Some have got into a complacent habit of speaking to each other in a kind of technical language, which is almost at times the avoidance of doing philosophy.
…So says Nigel Warburton in this fascinating interview with The Philosopher’s Magazine, outlining some of his frustrations with academic philosophy today, and the reasons he’s recently resigned his position with the Open University.
It’s a lucid and provocative interview, the main thrust of which is that (a) philosophy should properly be in the business of exploring ideas that matter to people and (b) it has stagnated to the extent that it no longer does so, with some exceptions. Why, asks Warburton, have philosophers been so silent on important public debates like those surrounding freedom of expression, gay marriage, 9/11?