Saturday, 6 February 2010

Can philosophy save us?

In response to a Guardian (Cif) article, Can philosophy save us?, by Darragh McManus.
I'm blocked from posting on the Guardian's Comment is Free website, I guess, at least in part, because they got fed up with me going on and on about my Darwinian view of human nature and the civilisation it has given rise to - which actually provides the best explanation for the fatal preoccupation with economics, politics and celebrity, which Darragh McManus seems to recognise as a problem and suggests philosophy may offer a solution to.
Philosophy, in its most basic (rather than elevated and erudite) form, seeks to understand reality. Very many philosophical questions have, if not entirely, nevertheless to an amazing, mind-boggling extent, been answered by science, although sadly most people (most relevantly, those in positions of power and influence) seem only interested in the political and economic aspects of science, rather than the philosophical ones.
The political and social sciences (if they deserve to be called sciences at all) are, it seems to me, at a Ptolemaic stage of development, still awaiting their Copernican - or rather, Darwinian - revolution.
Primarily we are still animals, preoccupied with exploiting our environment, which now, perversely, includes human society itself, in continuation of the primordial struggle for survival and (reproductive) "success", only largely reduced to the pursuit and exercise of POWER, in all its forms (e.g. money, social and professional status, the moral high ground, etc).
Exploitation of both the natural and human environment (with their natural and human resources), is what politics and economics are all about. Thus our preoccupation with them.
If we were to recognise this it would, necessarily, set a revolution in motion, but because no one (already, at a subconscious level) wants that (least of all anyone in a position of wealth, power or privilege), our brains prevent us from doing so. 

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