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What Is Philosophy?

After seven months, The New York Times' series on philosophy closes today. Simon Critchley reminds us what questions philosophy seeks to answer, such as, "What is knowledge?"

The hope that drives philosophy is that the considerations to universal questions, such as “What is knowledge, justice and love?” can, through inquiry and argumentation, have an educative or even emancipatory effect. Philosophy, as the great American philosopher Stanley Cavell puts it, is the education of grownups. It is my view that philosophy must form part of the life of a culture. It must engage the public and influence how a culture converses with itself, understands itself, talks to other cultures and seeks to understand them.


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