What is the value of Philosophy?
Recently Robert Audi said this: “I see philosophy as having a unique and essential role in education, in strengthening democracy, and in advancing human knowledge. We have distinctive ways of approaching reasoning, definition, explanation, and theory building. We frame and appraise moral positions in ways no other discipline does. We examine worldviews in a unique and systematic way. As teachers, we require critical writing and practice in formulating and solving intellectual problems. We teach the appraisal of arguments, introduce standards of evidence important in any field whatever, and heighten a student’s capacity to articulate their own world views. There is no realm of human existence we do not explore, no difficult question we are afraid to face, no serious idea we will not consider. Philosophy is essential for the education of citizens, uniquely rewarding for anyone who cares about ideas, and a distinctive contributor to the growth of knowledge…”
Robert Audi is the John O’Brien Professor of Philosophy at Notre Dame and the chair of the APA Development Committee. He shared these remarks in a solicitation letter to members of the American Philosophical Association.