Babich, Babette, "Philosophy Bakes No Bread.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences. Vol 48 (2017). First online: October 2.


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Philosophy Bakes No Bread

Far from baking bread, far from practical applicability, philosophy traditionally sought to explain the world, ideally so. Thus, when Marx argued that it was high time philosophy “change the world,” his was a revolutionary challenge. Today, philosophy is an analytic affair and analytic philosophers seek less to explain the world than to squirrel out arguments or, more descriptively, to resolve the minutiae of this or that name problem. Faced with diminishing student demand, analytic philosophers have taken to urging that everyone from primary school students to scientists be required to study (analytic) philosophy. Just so, applied philosophers demand to be engaged as consultants on practical projects. Granting that the demand that philosophers be appointed to public policy projects is understandable, inasmuch as everyone, as Hegel observed, desires recognition, this article argues that no argument has been made that the results would benefit any but the appointees while reinforcing current administrative quantitative evaluative schemes.



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