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Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 25, Issue 1, Spring 2019

Sanjay Lal
Pages 21-26

On Becoming Worthy of Victory
Asserting a Natural Place for Philosophy in Global Struggle

While there has been no shortage of philosophical writings dealing with humanity’s great struggles (be they on issues of justice, war, the proper structure of the state, et al) there is a notable absence within academic philosophy in asserting a broad, overriding, and natural place for philosophical analysis regarding such issues—a role which can be crucial in making us better people (and thus capable of realizing a better world). In the first part of this paper, I will discuss the notable absence of certain character traits on the part of activists fighting for a better world that are essential for attaining the lofty goals protest movements aim for. I will then show that philosophy is uniquely suited for helping develop such traits (specifically when philosophy is seen as a practice). In the last part of this paper, I will discuss possible areas of philosophical exploration that would be particularly fruitful for making us better people. My intention is to ultimately help establish a unique and irreplaceable role academic philosophy can have in activist movements.

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