Volume 4, 2008
Approaches to Philosophy
Philosophy Relevance in the Contemporary World
If philosophy is conceived as a method, seeing it beyond the traditional issues it addresses, issues that are not, strictly speaking, peculiar to it, then philosophy need not share the same criteria of relevance with science and technology. The paper argues that the generally held major criteria of relevance – utility, suitability, and social acceptability grounded on human desires and need are not philosophically satisfactory. The paper also argues that the Universalist conception of philosophy is, like science and technology, capable of contributing to human good – material and non- material. The conclusion is that granted that development is basically human, and, derivatively, material then the acquisition of the skills of philosophizing constitutes part of the species of development. The philosophical task of identifying errors (human and non-human) in specific human scientific and technological fields is capable of affecting the material and non-material progress of the contemporary world.