High-impact philosophy: Making the world a better place
Huffington Post - 05/19/2016
How many philosophers does it take to change a light bulb? It depends on how you define change. Philosophy is often viewed as irrelevant, and philosophers as living in ivory towers, easily dismissed for quibbling over words and arguing for the sake of argument. Senator Marco Rubio, during a fleeting bid for the Republican nomination, challenged philosophy’s value when he proclaimed that America needed “more welders and less philosophers.” Not so fast, Rubio. Some philosophers are changing the world.
Today innovative work in philosophy combines philosophical analysis and rigor, with organizational acumen and leadership. Much of this innovation is taking place in applied ethics. Typically, applied ethics involves identifying and analyzing social problems; sometimes it also proposes means for solving those problems in an ideal world. It rarely creates mechanisms capable of solving problems in the real world.