Filozofia w zgiełku sfery publicznej

Jan P. Hudzik


Philosophy in the Tumult of the Public Sphere


Do journalists and politicians, who reign supreme in public life today, still need any philosophers? Which philosophers? The article consists of four parts. In the first one, entitled “Hubris and Being Lost,” I recall the canon ways of understanding the relationships between philosophy and broad publicity. In the second – “Monological and Imitative Philosophy” – I refer these relationships to political philosophy, which had to measure its strength against accusations of monologueness and disciplinary hubris and face its identity problem in the late 20th century. In the third part – “Virtuous Burghers, Prima Donna, and Schizophrenic Debate” – I show the weakness of philosophers and social researchers in general, referring to their reaching the mainstream media, as well as the expenses borne by those intellectuals who are going to break out of university walls, at the cost of the so-called betrayal of the clerks, or – another alternative – of being in the service of a political power, as is the case of institutional actors working within different as is the case of institutional actors working for various national governmental educational bodies in Poland, or, finally, of playing the roles of politicians at any cost. In order to see in a new light the meaning of the role of philosophers in politics, I use the constructivist proposition, according to which the opinions expressed in public places do not only convey a message or reveal one’s emotions or intentions, but also actively affect reality – they create it in a certain sense. How does philosophical thought, and more specifically speaking philosophers themselves, share in this work of creation? Finally, in the fourth part, “Consolation and Pragmatism,” I write on them by way of consolation and pragmatism as well. My motto is: to keep out of the philosopher-king motif, not to speak in a serious tone, not to make an apology – and not to lament!

Keywords: public sphere, political philosophy, roles of social scientists in society, intellectuals, politics, philosophical hubris, linguistic turn, hypocrisy of scholars, philosophy as a critical praxis, linguistic practices, constructivism, performativity.

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