The Instigator
Physix
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
NiqashMotawadi3
Con (against)
Winning
13 Points

Philosophy is Dead.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
NiqashMotawadi3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/28/2013 Category: Philosophy
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 730 times Debate No: 43044
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (2)

 

Physix

Pro

Philosophy is dead.

Philosophy here includes both analytic and continental schools, including metaphysics, phenomenology, ethics, metaethics, etc.,... Pretty much all acknowledged schools of philosophy, other than logic. (I understand some discomfort among the readers. The reason I include this caveat is because the study of logic is not usually what we mean by philosophy. And if we say philosophy is alive, just because of the pure study of logic, [which by the way is now more a field of mathematics], that really isn't saying much... Rather, philosophy as debated here is the proper application of logic.)

By dead is meant it no longer contributes, and never will, to the furthering of societal enlightenment. Nor will it to the academia's.

Regarding the criteria: But before that, notice that the definition is in both present and future tense. Hence our job is two-fold -- that concerning "is" and "will be". A degree of extrapolation is required, but hopefully nowhere beyond the limits of plausibility.

Anyways, back to the criterion, the former is to gauge the presence of the field today in terms of its contribution to laymans' collective body of knowledge. But some may argue that academic subjects should not be gauged in terms of laymans' understanding. Thus, I've included the latter to broaden the scope of our debate. When I say academia's enlightenment, this doesn't just mean philosophy's, as that would be trivial, but of the academia as an interdisciplinary whole, striving to understand.

It's a long debate ahead of us. I hope it will be an enjoyable one.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for starting this interesting debate. It was not specified whether the first round is for acceptance or not, but Pro did not present any of his arguments so I'm going to treat this as an acceptance round and describe my position. I do not accept that philosophy is currently useless or is going to be useless in the future, but on the contrary, I believe that philosophy is currently useful and could be very useful in the future when it comes to social enlightenment and academical progress, and I shall use different arguments to support my view. I suppose the burden of proof is shared although Pro is the one who makes the positive claim that "philosophy is dead."

That being said, I await my opponent's case.
Debate Round No. 1
Physix

Pro

Physix forfeited this round.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

DISCLAIMER

Pro forfeited his round and even disabled his account after the first round of this debate. I'm not sure what to make out of this, but I'm going to present some of the arguments I had already prepared, although I had the intention of providing more to support my case.

MY CASE

Arguments that say that "philosophy is useless" usually stem from an ignorance of the importance of philosophy in our current scientific research, and the fact that the philosophical foundations (which go beyond logic) are still being strengthened and evaluated in the academic world. This myth seems to be present in the writings of scientists who seem to have dogmatically adopted the reductionist, mechanistic paradigm, ignoring the limitations of their current paradigm which are expressed by many academic publications.

Wittgenstein's Philosophy, Reductionism and Neuroscience

In their book "Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience," the neuroscientist Max Bennett and the philosopher Peter Hacker use Wittgenstein's principles of non-reductionism to avoid the vacuity of neuroscientific reductionism and reach a "less wrong" understanding of neuroscience[1]. This work has been considered one of the greatest publications in neuroscience. According to the highly-renowned academic, G. H. Von Wright, "[It] will certainly, for a long time to come, be the most important contribution to the mind-body problem which there is." This is followed by the review of President of the British Academy, Sir Anthony Kenny, who calls the book remarkable and states that it will stimulate the controversy needed in neuroscience[2].

This is just one example of how philosophy is active and effective in dealing with the new problems that arise as we further investigate neuroscience and many other areas of knowledge.

Philosophy, in this sense, is required as a methodology to deal with paradoxes and limitations that impede the progress in academia. As Friedrich Nietzsche once said, "As the circle of science grows larger, it touches paradox at more places."

Epistemological holism and the dogmas of empiricism

One of the greatest modern contributions to philosophy has been Quine's critique of empiricism. As Quine argues[3]:

"My present suggestion is that it is nonsense, and the root of much nonsense, to speak of a linguistic component and a factual component in the truth of any individual statement. Taken collectively, science has its double dependence upon language and experience; but this duality is not significantly traceable into the statements of science taken one by one. Russell’s concept of definition in use was, as remarked, an advance over the impossible term-by-term empiricism of Locke and Hume. The statement, rather than the term, came with Russell to be recognized as the unit accountable to an empiricist critique. But what I am now urging is that even in taking the statement as a unit we have drawn our grid too finely. The unit of empirical significance is the whole of science."

In other words, Quine attempts to correct the basis of science, empiricism, and offers an alternative holistic theory which has been widely-adopted by modern philosophers. Provided that Quin's epistemological holism is plausible, such discovery is prone to revolutionize our modern science especially when it deals with principles such as the principle of uncertainty that deals directly with our human perception. Quine argues that science relies on both language and experience, and suffers from what he classifies as two dogmas of empiricism that are caused by the current epistemological reductionism. Therefore, his philosophy establishes a less dogmatic foundation for science.

In summary, philosophy is a method to continuously strengthen the basic foundations of science to leave out dogmatic assumptions and inconsistencies.

Philosophy as a lingual and corrective method

According to Ludwig Wittgenstein, "Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language[4]." Based on this definition, philosophy is useful today and in the future because we are expected to continue using language, when language regulates and shapes our perceptions, knowledge and science and could therefore have an adverse effect on how certain matters are interpreted, stated, discussed or challenged in academical works.

Therefore, philosophical methods that deal with linguistics are needed given that they provide philosophical hygiene for academia; logic alone is not enough.

SUMMARY

Philosophy is not only active as other academic fields, but also immersed with the foundations of our knowledge and epistemology. Because of the failures of reductionism, an approach to holism ,or more or less an inclusionist middle-ground between both paradigms, is currently unwinding, so it is rather ignorant to ignore philosophy's achievements in the modern times plus the changing foundations of our current paradigm, which is not based on absolute knowledge but philosophies that can submerge and evolve, and say that philosophy is useless and science already knows perfectly how to figure out all that there is without any further assistance.

CITATIONS

[1] Wittgenstein meets Neuroscience. Axel Kohler. Human Nature Review 2003 Volume 3: 459-460.

[2] Reviews from Amazon.com/Philosophical-Foundations-Neuroscience-M-Bennett/dp/140510838X,

[3] Main Trends in Recent Philosophy: Two Dogmas of Empiricism. W. V. Quine The Philosophical Review Vol. 60, No. 1 (Jan., 1951), pp. 20-43 Published by: Duke University Press.

[4] Ludwig Wittgenstein. Philosophical Investigations, §§109, 309.


Debate Round No. 2
Physix

Pro

Physix forfeited this round.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

Points extended.
Debate Round No. 3
Physix

Pro

Physix forfeited this round.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

Points extended.
Debate Round No. 4
Physix

Pro

Physix forfeited this round.
NiqashMotawadi3

Con

Thanks for reading.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
The life and every action is completely controlled by a personal philosophy. Depending on your philosophy you may conclude that life is meaningless or develop a new strategy to achieve happiness. Science can build WMDs but ethics decides ultimately what to do with them. It's baffling how someone could suggest that philosophy would ever be irrelevant.
Posted by NiqashMotawadi3 3 years ago
NiqashMotawadi3
I'll gladly challenge you on this resolution.
Posted by mrsatan 3 years ago
mrsatan
Lol, my bad, wasn't really awake when I clicked the debate. Too used to people posting a whole lot of nothing on the challenging round so I hadn't read it.
Posted by mrsatan 3 years ago
mrsatan
@Physix

If self reference were the only sustainment for philosophy, then philosophy could be considered worthless, but not dead (Of course, you may see the two as one in the same, in which case you may want to rethink your wording). I am curious to see your reasoning for such a statement.
Posted by Physix 3 years ago
Physix
@Rational_Thinker9119, I thought someone might post that lol. A trivial (and dumb) statement don't you think? If philosophy is sustained only because of such reason (as I believe it is) then the only reason philosophy is valid is because of its self-referentialistic philosophy-of-philosophy. Please think more before posting! :D
Posted by Rational_Thinker9119 3 years ago
Rational_Thinker9119
This debate is dumb. "Philosophy is dead" is a philosophical statement. Thus, this resolution is self-refuting.
Posted by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
I want to take this.
Posted by phantom 3 years ago
phantom
I'll take it if you want.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
PhysixNiqashMotawadi3Tied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Interesting topic, excellent opening position from Con. It's a shame Pro did not continue with the debate. Con sourced arguments and conduct for the forfeit.
Vote Placed by wateva232 3 years ago
wateva232
PhysixNiqashMotawadi3Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Full points to Con because Pro forfeited.