Current Events in Philosophy

Direct Knowlege Contributor Taylor Bauer
  • By Taylor Bauer, Technical Writer & Digital Marketing Expert
  • Taylor is a writer and SEO manager with a B.S. in Political Communication from Illinois State University. He also received his M.S. in Communications from Illinois State. His background comes from journalism, working at an NPR member station for three years before transitioning to blogging and search engine marketing. He lives in Illinois with his wife and two Toy Australian Sheppards.

You might not know what philosophy is, but you certainly know something about the subject. Things like existence, the meaning of life, and religion all take the lead from philosophy. Many industries you and I likely know well incorporate philosophy into organizational and managerial approaches to business. Likewise, current events in philosophy show that discourse is a primary vehicle with which philosophy grows.

Philosophy is the study of the mind and existence within relation to space and time. The fact that philosophy transcends time points to its topicality. Whether society or culture, humanity always establishes philosophers as thought-leaders in the quest to answer existential questions. Studying subjects in the field of philosophy often help create new insights into the human condition.

Philosophy is an abstract term many know and use today. Using philosophy, people across centuries have developed humanitarian and social studies, of which we now find significant benefits. The problem for some who wish to study philosophy now is this: what do you do in philosophy professionally? There are some easy answers when you look at the current events in the philosophy that make up the major headlines. Here are five examples of current events in a philosophy that give you valuable insight into the field of study.

The Trans Question Gets Philosophical

Transgender symbol activism and rights Civil trans bisexual concept

Philosophy has always been about debating. The debates raging from the early ancient Greek civilizations to now have ever been changing. Depending on the current problems or interests at the time, philosophy often ebbs and flows around what’s current and hot. At the same time, its roots are very traditional and strict. Many consider themselves philosophers are not anything of the sort, and that goes to hold doctorates in the study. The key to philosophy is asking universal questions and pondering their answer with no ulterior motive. In a polarized society like ours, that’s hard to do. Yet, it is what makes philosophy such an intricate form of education and practice.

Lately, social issues have been much more public than ever before. Because of the internet, amateur debates now take place all the time online. We see people argue over various values and beliefs, and unfortunately, they often yield poor results. For starters, people without philosophical training know nothing about actually answering these questions. The idea behind the online debate is rarely to solve a problem, more or less, so advocating just to continue its existence. Philosophy is not about being wrong or right; it’s about finding the truth, whether universal or subjective.

Trans Rights and Philosophy

The debate over transgender individuals is a hot topic as any in the world. Some countries in Asia and Europe outright deny trans people any rights whatsoever. In the U.S., however, the debate is a bit more staunch. The value of trans rights is in question by some. Some believe they step on the rights of women in a feminist lens. These people are considered trans-exclusionary radical feminists. While not new, the concept is currently the subject of a lot of philosophical study and debate. Overall, excluding someone’s rights is an excellent example of ontological philosophy or the idea of values in society as a form of education.

One particular trend in philosophy about the trans question understands why people believe things that they do. It’s not an easy question, uniquely to generically label across a group of people. Nevertheless, philosophy asks individuals to look into the issue, and much of mainstream debate does not yield valuable analysis. For years, philosophy has been missing in K-12 programs. Now, it’s evident that more people debate social issues without any idea of how to articulate their values and beliefs in a significant way.

Setting Up Trump Party White House Summer Pennsylvania Ave Washington DC

The Philosophical Study of the Trump White House

Another hot button issue relates to the policymaking of the Trump administration and Trump himself. Overall, a significant subsection of philosophy is epistemology or the study of knowledge. Likewise, a big question in the current state of politics is the role that education plays in a “fake news” society. Fake news, loosely, is the concept that says knowledge created equal. There’s a big philosophical debate about what is true in the story and politics right now, and it’s filled with a divisive discourse that pulls people away from objective reality. There are, for too long, various groups looking to upend the order truth brings to society, and tear it apart for political and ideological gain.

In philosophy, the idea behind the truth is tricky. Sure, there is a capital ‘T’ truth to some things in life. For example, we know that we live on planet Earth. Or do we? See, the tricky thing about philosophy is each mind has its own free will to create the confines of a reality in which some things are right. Of course, the agreed-upon stuff that we all utilize, like the idea in the United States that a dollar bill is valuable to some extent, is a bit harder to argue against this notion. Thus, when it comes to opinions, some look to bend the truth to make it what they’d like to be.

The Philosophy of a Democracy

A democracy functions solely on the premise that people come together to solve issues. In a representative democracy, the idea is that people, who live in that democracy, elect officials who represent them in political votes. Rules are tough to put into place when the truth is in question. When the people chose to serve citizens of democracy fail to agree on what is right and wrong, that’s cause for debate. When the people elected to represent citizens disagree on what is right; however, that is how democracy fails to work.

It’s terrifying how the philosophy of the Trump White House has transformed how we discuss the truth. Philosophy means to help in seeking out the truth, not redefine it and look to utilize it for personal gain. The same goes for both sides of the political machine in the United States, regardless of ideology. Current events in philosophy insist that how we think and debate is falling apart, and little goes against that first impression. The goal now is to recreate a place in which philosophy can sustain logical conversations. For many, the hope seems dim. But, as this is just another time in history, things like this happen. Philosophy is a key to unlocking the deadlock.

Nice Baylor university campus in Texas USA

Philosophy Student at Baylor Takes on the Ethics of Education

When people talk about philosophy, they often mention the past. Philosophy up through World War II has been a driving force in politics and current events. It seems like the dawn of the TV and radio, among other things, took away from the written word. There are a ton of places in which philosophy still plays a vital role today. Academia is, of course, always concerned with philosophy, but there are a lot of people who don’t see these things play a role in the real world. Current events in philosophy point to significant improvements in the field, but there are a lot of things that mainstream media fails to promote and cover.

Recent grads in philosophy get asked all the time about what they plan on doing with a philosophy degree. For students, it’s hard to question so often. It’s also incredibly incorrect, with philosophy still influencing every major field of study in the liberal arts repertoire of higher education. To be fair, many do not understand philosophy as a field of study. Nor do they know what it has to contribute to the world. A particular area where philosophy intersects with other fields is education. Entire courses on the philosophy of teaching methods rule education majors for years, and at every level. One recent philosophy student mastered this intersection expertly. Current events in philosophy point to this being a growing concern for business professionals.

The Ethics of Education

Nearly everyone in America values the concept of education. That said, methods of teaching vary from state to state and even town to town. Kirsten Kappelman Welch is a recent fellowship earner and student of the intersection of education and philosophy. This scholar is a crucial finding. Her research primarily consists of the ethics of knowledge. More specifically, the idea of teaching values in the classroom. Teachers should not share their importance in school. Yet, it’s nearly impossible to separate individual beliefs from our professions.

Welch’s research posits that strong values from religion inherently affect teaching, especially in higher education. With more freedom in a college classroom than any other, teachers are more likely to share their views. This addition affects students, whether it’s intentional or not. Her research is going to be the focus of a new conference panel and colloquium on her studies. It’s a great way to prove that philosophy is still very relevant. Welch is an excellent example of what philosophy can accomplish today.

ethical business ethics and ethics in general

Philosophy Class on the Question of Business Ethics Emerges as New Intersection

Speaking of ethics, a lot of people fail to see certain professions as ethical. Business is especially negatively viewed. The problem with some jobs is the question of what is right and what is wrong. Ethics, as they pertain to philosophy, are a fundamental question worth investigating. The early philosophers saw ethics as one of the most human forms of questioning we can offer to each other and the world. The idea of right and wrong predates philosophy, as well as organized religion and other moral-based groups. Right and wrong mean different things for everyone, and a big question is what constitutes these definitions. For starters, people who are considered harmful do not seem to have high moral standards. This fact is an overgeneralization and does not pertain to everyone. Yet, it’s a widespread belief.

For example, someone who commits a crime is not doing something wrong. Criminals are inherently wrong in the opinions and eyes of many. It’s not until a premise introduced that people start to judge them more fairly. Think of Les Miserables and the lead character, Valjean. He steals bread, which is wrong, but he does it to feed his sister’s children. Is that wrong? Philosophy says it’s worth investigating. Back to business, the business world riddled with questionable practices.

Business and Ethical Decision Making

new consultation firm is concerned with this very issue. Businesses who seem unethical can now turn to an ethics firm. That’s right: a group that helps move your organization to a more ethical light—the company founded by a man who seems morally questionable. After accusations of sexual harassment, Colin McGinn left his teaching job. Now, he runs a company centered on ethics. It looks a bit odd, but it makes a point within itself. How do you judge what is right and what is wrong?

Never mind the man’s past. This fact is about his company, above all else. The firm looks to inject ethics into business plans all over the United States. Through meetings and conversations, the firm will consult companies looking to make more ethical decisions. In the philosophical tradition, identifying problems is how you approach an issue. That’s precisely what McGinn’s firm does. As with any consulting firm, the goal is to get clients to sign on to guide their corporate moral compass. Will it be popular? It’s too early to tell. Current events in philosophy will surely follow this phenomenon.

Smart looking couple of Philosophy students

The Political Views of Philosophy Students

A recent study looked into a long pondered question. For years, people have wondered what draws students to philosophy. It is impossible to arrive at a single conclusion for every individual student. Yet, studies often try to identify patterns that may point to an answer. The issue with this methodology is the threat of incorrectly assuming something that leads to further work. For years, people considered students at college are more liberal than conservative. Conservatives go so far to blame colleges for promoting liberal ideology. As it turns out, liberal ideology is only the cusp of philosophy student’s beliefs. Liberal, for philosophy students in this survey, might be too far to the right. Current events in philosophy point to this being a huge question.

The political spectrum is just that. From left to right, various ideologies lie on a single plane. This method allows people not to view as one belief, but rather a level of thinking. Someone can be a conservative but lean more towards the middle. This assumption would mean they are moderately conservative, which differentiates them from full or staunch conservatives. The idea behind studying ideological placement on the political spectrum is to determine what beliefs tie to specific groups of people. Religious people, for example, tend to be farther right on the political spectrum. On the other hand, atheists tend to believe things on the political spectrum.

Philosophy Students on the Political Spectrum

The study concluded that philosophy students tend to feel better or more comfortable with socialism. To put it plainly, this is not a surprise to many in the field. Philosophy has progressed to a point where many identify significant issues with the American and Western political systems. Not to mention, capitalism as a whole. Political philosophers, in particular, have grown incredibly hostile towards capitalism since the mid 19th century. Marx, Engles, and Gramsci, for example, embody philosophy’s tendency to point out flaws in the processes of capitalism. As it pertains to students, these beliefs indoctrinate into classrooms. It is not clear that students bring these thoughts with them to college.

For a long time, liberal leanings attributed to students automatically. Overall, data support this claim in this study, at least for philosophy students. The research also shows that right-leaning political beliefs are far from the norm in most majors, but that has much more to do with global ideological trends before 2008 than it does a truth about the higher education system.

Conclusion

Philosophy is not a part of the past or limited to the present. The future is full of philosophical considerations to bring to the political and social world. Hopefully, the push will come sooner, so current events in philosophy can take a forefront in modern discourse. Current news in philosophy might not draw you in on its own, but as you explore more educational topics, it’s vital to study this area.

Why does philosophy often fail to transcend academia?

Where do we see philosophy in our daily lives?

Why does philosophy play a role in other industries like business or the natural sciences?

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