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The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 2, 2006

Social and Political Philosophy

Jurate Morkuniene
Pages 3-7

Contemporary Social Philosophy
The Problem of the Method and the Goals

In the modern world, with the processes of social development gaining accelerated rates, a new philosophical image of the world emerges, accompanied by the formation of a new social philosophy. Contemporary social philosophy is not a monosemantically defined field of the usage of notions, because it generalizes the most complicated and rapidly changing objects such as society and man. In this sense social philosophy is always incomplete, relatively open and, therefore, a temporary, theoretically "imperfect", "nonsystematic". Over the last few decades social philosophy has suffered a deep crisis. This crisis was evoked by changes in the paradigm of science. Philosophy was too slow with its reaction to these changes; its former means of cognition failed to explain the new, rapid processes of social life. Philosophy began to get out of the crisis for two reasons. First, social theory felt the need of new, more general means of explanation, of a metatheory, which can be nothing else but philosophy. Second, philosophy itself changed its orientation, entered the paradigm of integrity, accepted the idea of society as an open system. The task of contemporary philosophy is not only to attain truth, but also to show how this truth can become active. Contemporary philosophy is the means of both thinking and action. Philosophy has no absolutely accomplished truth any more: it is searching for the truth of its time.

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