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Haldane on Philosophy

December 11th, 2005 | 1 min read

By Matthew Lee Anderson

I previously blogged about Professor John Haldane’s new appointment at the Vatican. As I was perusing the high-brow ecumenical journal First Things, I was excited to run across an article on philosophy by Haldane entitled “What Philosophy Can Do.”

In it, Haldane summarizes and critiques the current state of philosophy. He contends that the divorce between the the untrained thinker and the trained professional stems from the misguided understanding of the role and nature of philosophy. Specifically, it has become divorced from the interests and language of the naturally curious because it has neglected the issues of mind, soul, and God.

Haldane’s positive thesis regarding philosophy is interesting and persuasive–it amounts to a rejection of a notion of abstract thinking that philosophy inherited from Liebniz and Hume. If nothing else, it explains why “possible world” modality may not actually be useful for describing and interpreting reality.

If you can, read the whole thing. It’s well written and worth the effort.