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Question: Why does philosophy matter in a modern world?

Michael Walzer: Well, we try to, at our best I think, we try to take the moral intuitions of ordinary people, the sense of right and wrong that prevails in our society, and we try to give it a systematic form and to test its internal tensions and possible contradictions and to apply it to difficult cases and then to suggest revisions as the cases required revision. And that kind of work, I think, even if it is carried out at a very high level of abstraction as it often is in academic philosophy, that kind of work tends over time to interact with the more ordinary moral conversation of humankind and to have some impact I think.


More from the Big Idea for Saturday, August 03 2013

Practical Philosophy

That they have the ability to question and communicate, and to identify and challenge basic assumptions means that philosophers are capable of analyzing the sorts of strategy that are vital in the... Read More…


Michael Walzer: Philosophy ...

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