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Journal of Continental Philosophy

Volume 1, Issue 2, 2020

Donatella Di Cesare
Pages 201-216

It is Time for Philosophy to Return to the City

Philosophy has been a subversive practice since the time of Socrates. Recognizing no authority other than the persuasiveness of dialectics, philosophy designated a thinking beyond the boundaries of the city: an estranging conception, an elsewhere of thought. It is from this critical distance that philosophy derived its political vocation. In the era of global capitalism, however, philosophy has become institutionalized and lost its subversive potential. To this end, philosophy has accepted that it should no longer pose too many questions, especially the ones which are most fundamental, resulting in a dearth of in-depth public questioning, and the slumber of critical reasoning. Hence, philosophy needs to rediscover its political vocation in order to reawaken consciences and to once again embrace that theoretical and practical commitment which never accepts anything without critical reflection. By doing so, it will be possible to restore philosophy to its original role as a guiding light for the community.