Over here, As a profession, is philosophy in a better or worse state than it was in 1997?’ Among the responses is Alasdair MacIntyre’s:
If the philosophy published between 1907 and 1967 were to vanish without a trace, it would be an intellectual catastrophe. If the philosophy published between 1967 and 1997 were to vanish without trace, it would be a very serious loss. If the philosophy published between 1997 and 2007 were to vanish similarly, it would matter a little, but not that much.
Because I think Forsyth hit a nail on the head when he urged that we ‘think in centuries’, wouldn’t a better question be, ‘As a profession, is philosophy in a better or worse state than it was in 1897?’, or for us now, ‘in 1908’?
I don’t read a lot of contemporary philosophy so I can’t really offer much by way of opinion (though I do have my hunches) but I’d love to hear your thoughts.
On a related track, Bertrand Russell reckons that ‘The point of philosophy is to start with something so simple as not to seem worth stating, and to end with something so paradoxical that no one will believe it’. … mmm seems too simple to be true …