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Essays in Philosophy

Volume 15, Issue 1, January 2014

Public Philosophy

Mark S. McLeod-Harrison
Pages 117-137

Socrates and St. Paul
Can Christian Apologetics be Public Philosophy?

Can popular Christian apologetics be public philosophy? This paper argues that it can be partly because the criteria for what counts as public philosophy are so vague but also partly because popular Christian apologetics parallels much that counts as public philosophy both in terms of its historical roots in Socrates but also how public philosophy is practiced now. In particular, there are parallels on the role of amateurs vs. professionals, the sorts of topics, the quality of the discussions, and the passion vs. the neutrality of its practitioners.

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