Why Doesn’t Philosophy Get Respect?

Science consists of a network of externally testable hypotheses.Scientific statements are testable because the physical universe is internally consistent, and because of that consistency, subject to fixed categories that are reducible to numbers which can be manipulated by the process of ratios we call mathematics.

As such, the physical universe is extremely simple compared to the conceptual universe. In the conceptual universe, the entire purpose of philosophy is to construct, reconstruct, and deconstruct plastic categories for the purpose of determining actions, so that we may establish cooperative norms, for human beings existing within that material universe consisting of pervasive but reducible material scarcity caused by the permanent scarcity of time. The purpose of thought its action, and the purpose of action is to outwit and therefore alter, the current course of events so that we may consume the difference within the time frames necessary to perpetuate our survival.

Philosophy consists of a series of traditions which attempt to solve the conflict of our desire for perpetuating our norms — no matter how ludicrous they may be — while allowing us to adapt to changes in our material world. It took until Aristototle to develop reason as we understand it. We were infected by Persian and Abrahamic Mysticism, and only began to crawl out of it during the reformation and enlightenment. Philosophy undermined theology as the middle class undermined the landed aristocracy. Darwin cut both the magian tradition as well as the rules that our norms were based upon.

Most philosophy is not testable. Much of it is terribly bad. Too much of it ignores the data from the physical sciences. Most remains introspective as a means of avoiding the data from the physical sciences. Although, the analytic program has in some reductio way, attempted to solve the problem of making testable statements, and incorporating data from the physical sciences, the discipilne was infected by pervasive religious derivatives and attempted to solve the metaphyisical problem as a way of regaining its prestige lost to the hard sciences.

Philosophy struggled to remain relevant.

The post analytics finally abandoned mysticism altogether. Some post analytical philosophers call their discipline “Post Philosophy” to openly and finally fully abandon philosophy’s magian ancestry. Meanwhile the sociologists and the economists tried to solve most of the problems of the social sciences through positivism but failed. And both the philosophers and the mystics have continued to fail — because we still hold our desperately to our agrarian norms and categories.

Philosophy today is a form of fitness that allows one to not fall prey to the limited methodology of another technical discipline. As a discipline itself it has failed to solve the material problems of creating an internally consistent set of categories and relations that will assist us in the development of new norms without at the same time perishing because of our hubris.

One cannot study economics, history, sociology, politics and philosophy as an integrated program. One must either choose an empirical course of study, or choose a narrative course of study. Until philosophy unites these fields, it will remain irrelevant. And synthesis is what we need of it.

There is still room for philosophy precisely because all the disciplines have failed to produce a conceptual framework for adapting to modernity. But philosophy is as much a prisoner of its traditions as it benefits from them. And academic philosophy, mired in the error of the analytic program’s pursuit of the metaphysical problem has been, and simply perpetuates an error that renders the discipline ineffective and deprives society of answers to pressing problems of anonymity and insensitivity created by a division of knowledge and labor that yields an inverse relationship between material comforts and psychological comforts.

Mankind suffers for their folly.

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