Volume 1, Winter 2019
Diverse Approaches to Dialogue in Public and Precollege Philosophy
Dialogue and Next Generation Philosophy
In the sixteenth-century book Utopia, Thomas More argues that philosophers can play an effective role in the public sphere. This article builds from More’s argument to develop a theory of public philosophy centered on dialogue or rhetoric. It contrasts this public philosophy with the disciplinary form of philosophy that emerged in the twentieth century. The discipline constitutes philosophers as experts and limits them to a dialogue only with their peers. By contrast, public philosophers can be in dialogue with anyone involved in a public issue. The article discusses some key challenges to doing public philosophy. It then gives an account of the methods and central features of field philosophy, one kind of public philosophy.