Think 10 (29):37-41 (2011)

Ian James Kidd
Nottingham University
Stephen Hawking recently caused controversy by suggesting that philosophy had become obsolete in the face of the advance of modern science. Hawking's The Grand Design is only the latest in a long series of premature notifications of the obsolescence of philosophy. A wide range of writers, including but not limited to scientists and philosophers, have suggested that philosophy, in part or in whole, has been superseded by the sciences in a way that, all things considered, justifies its abandonment. Some forty years ago, E.O. Wilson suggested that the province of ethics should be turned over to biology, forty years before that the logical positivists had drawn up plans for the formation of a ‘scientific philosophy’, and before that, in the nineteenth century, Comte had identified philosophy as the mere precursor to a modern, ‘positive’ stage of human culture. The list of examples could be extended, a fact which prompts the point that, if philosophy is dying, then it is putting up quite a fight
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DOI 10.1017/s147717561100008x
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