The Usefulness of Philosophy

4 August, 2020

Where our scientific knowledge is insufficient and where theological answers fail to compel and convince us, philosophy remains a useful endeavour. Questions concerning consciousness, the purpose of the Universe, whether reality is objective or is observer-dependent, of whether the laws of nature and the physical constants of the Universe are unchanging with time or whether they are mutable, etc., are all realms where philosophy may be of use to the intellectually curious. No matter how large our body of scientific knowledge grows, there will always be questions that are beyond the realm of science to adequately answer. The number of particles containing within the observable Universe is finite; the amount of information encoded in all the Universe is finite; no matter how much we learn, the amount that we know will always be finite. Beyond all definite knowledge, there will always be room for philosophy.

That doesn’t mean that all philosophising done at the frontier is useful, interesting, or worth listening to, however. Philosophy that is ignorant of science, or of the bizarre and arcane logical rules that science can often follow, will lead even the most brilliant of thinkers astray. To the speculative, curious mind, however, what is known today will never be satisfactory. Until science makes those critical advances, philosophising will be a necessary tool for gazing beyond today’s frontier.

Forbes, Ethan Siegal, 30 June 2020. Read the full article here.

Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership draws on more than two millennia of philosophical thinking to foster in-depth, practical discussions that sharpen critical reasoning and strengthen moral courage. Since our formation more than 25 years ago, we’ve seen thousands of senior-level people across business, community and government benefit from our rigorous programs. Cranlana’s programs include the 2 day Executive Ethics, 6 day Executive Colloquium and year-long Vincent Fairfax Fellowship. We also deliver online and tailored corporate programs. Annual scholarships are offered to not-for-profits, start-ups and individuals.

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