July 16, 2020
(8 thoughts)

today's pressing philosophical problems

i

Problems are problems because they are not easy to solve,
or resolve.
They do not disappear easily or quickly.
In contrast, most math problems are not problems at all
as they have solutions.

ii

What role might philosophy
whatever that might mean,
play in resolving today's most pressing problems?

iii

Some of the world's problems involve massive and costly changes occurring over long period of time,
That might include problems of global warming, pollution, environmental degradation, poverty and disease.
Many problems will also involve intelligent laws, diligently enforced by governing authorities.
Over this we as individuals exercise miniscule control.

iv

But many of today's pressing problems are problems of words.
How should we talk and conceptualize today's problems?
How should we think and understand today's problems?
How should we evaluate, and not mischaracterize, today's problems?
How should we persuade others to think like us, and when should we change our opinions?
How should we handle disagreements?
How can we recognize when we are being ignornat, foolish or mistaken?

v

The point here is not to find a generalization or two that answers such questions in general terms,
but to answer them specifically when talking about specific general things like war, racism or corruption.

vi

We can lose ourselves in the ocean of philosophizing,
avoiding pressing problems,
as we can lose ourselves in studies.

vii

Will our answer persuade the billions to change their course?
No.
It may however give us a personal understanding,
and something to respond,
should such a situation arise.

viii

One problem with answering complex pressing problem
is that the answer is complex
and peters out in side issues on all sides.
Big problems are large landscapes
with many smaller valleys, meadows and hills therein.

[ back ]