Make your own free website on

Philosophy Alive

The Future of Philosophy

New Books

The future of philosophy appears pejorative to some recent philosophers and scientists.  Others contest that opinion, encouraging a relevant philosophy.

Pejorative Future for Philosophy
Mark Allen Walker writes, "For the last hundred years or so we have heard the call for the end or 'death' of traditional philosophy, what might be thought of as the 'Plato to Hagel' canon...This call has been issued by some of the most important thinkers and movements in this period:  from James to Rorty, Nietzche to Derrida, from logical positivism to naturalized epistomology" in M. A. Walker, "Prolegomena to Any Future Philosophy," The Transhumanist, vol. 10.  "Higher education... dwindling financial resources... in the scale of profit-making disciplines philosophy ranks last," notes Joachim Jung, "The Future of Philosophy," 20th World Council of Philosophy.

Favorable Future for Philosophy
"The Catholic intellectual revival apart from its specific content, represented a unique 20th century cultural pehnomenon...The dominant style of modern thought has been the contestation of all traditions..." notes James Hitchcock, "Postmortem on a Rebirth:  the Catholic Intellectual Renaissance," Years of Crisis (San Francisco: Igantius Press, 1985).  Modern papal tradition favors Scholastic Philosophy "restored" by Aeterni Patris of Leo XIII in 1879, declared "useful" by Angelicis Doctoris of Pius X in 1914, practiced by Aquinas whose system was promoted by Studiorum Ducem of Pius XI in 1923, endorsed by the Second Vatican Council (Optatam Totius, 15: "real problems of life"), and affirmed by Fides et Ratio (especially #29) of Pope John Paul II in 1998.

Pejorative Future for Philosophy
...from Biology:  "Christianity has brought this religious and philosophic disaster upon itself, professor Dewart argues... Roman Catholic form is still wedded to a scholastic philosophical structure which is inappropriate... in evolutionary and functional terms, " Emerson W. Shideler, Theology Today 24 (1967): 389.
...from Physics:  "Modern physics has been used here as an example... Therefore, it will never be possible by pure reason to arrive at some absolute truth," Werner Heisenberg, Physics and Philosophy (Allen and Irwin, 1959): chapter five.

Favorable Future for Philosophy
Etienne Gilson (1884-1978) was convinced of the perennial value of the Summa Theologica.  Charles Martel beat the Arab invaders at Poitiers in 732, and the Scholastics beat Averroism.  Scholastic philosophy is the only system that has a complete and consistent solution to all the problems of the human intellect.  Jacques Mariatin (1885-1973) agreed by noting the humanistic solution to life problems can be reached only through Scholastic philosophy, whose truths are valid for all times and places.  Mortimer Adler (1902-2001) was a follower of Aquinas at the University of Chicago from 1930.  David Tracy, also at the University of Chicago, notes Aquinas is one of the dozen greatest philosophers in the West, in Christian Century (6 March 1974): 260-262.