Volume 52, 2008
James F. Perry
To Shape a Global Human Consciousness, De‐Mystify Philosophy First
Philosophy studies the relation between random, routine, and reflective thought and action. It is in essence the reflective study of routine. No one can survive a random world, but a routine world will generate the same randomness it is intended to avoid owing to the inevitable errors associated with routines. The prime function of reflective inquiry is to identify and explain the logical foundation of these errors. While governments depend on strict routine to prevent anarchy, it is only with the maintenance and adaptive revision of those routines that they are able to serve that purpose. Thus philosophy is essential even to preserve routine, aside from facilitating the building of better routines. To advance global understanding philosophers need to use informal means to communicate to all people everywhere the distinction between randomness and routine, and the transcending of routine by reflective study. I add a concluding note of advocacy for UNESCO’s Strategy on Philosophy.