Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Comment on "Farewell to Judgment"

Comment on Roger Scruton’s “Farewell to Judgment” in The American Spectator, June 2009: http://spectator.org/archives/2009/06/05/farewell-to-judgment

Roger Scruton’s “Farewell to Judgment” raises a question of vital importance for the future of human culture. I only wish he had defined the role of philosophy in the desired “restoration of judgment to its central place in the humanities”. As I see it, part of the debility of the humanities in present-day education is due to the fact that philosophy has lost its central place within the humanities, and that in turn has been due to the failure of philosophers to see philosophy as distinct from and in a sense opposed to science. Philosophy was supposed to seek objective knowledge. When it was seen that only empirical science can yield verifiable knowledge, philosophers imitated science and broke up philosophy into specialized disciplines that at best could only be pseudo-sciences. Philosophy, to play its proper and vital role in human culture, must give up the vain dream of yielding objective knowledge of the external world and go back to its true task of giving us insight into our inner reality by examining our ideals and values. This is a task that philosophy shares with poetry, drama, fiction, and art.

D. R. Khashaba