Contemporary philosophy and philosophers

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Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,733
Florania
Libby (the overdrive application to use ebooks and audiobooks for free) has exposed me to many books
that I wanted to read and did not have a chance to touch.
Note that I use the audiobook function quite a bit; I have read 3 books and listened to about 10 now.
Steven Pinker has mentioned a few contemporary philosophers in his book of Better Angels of Our Nature:
Why Violence Has Declined.

From my memory, a few names come to mind: Slavoj Žižek, Peter Singer, Martha Nussbaum.
They are almost all professors within the academic circle.
Currently, I often read books mentioned by other books.
Previously, I mentioned that historians who do not write "popular works" may not be noticed at all.
Jared Diamond, Timothy Snyder, Yuval Noah Harari, Barbara Tuchman all come to mind.
I just finished reading One World Now by Peter Singer; it hardly offers any new perspectives at all.
Yes, many today's issues require global cooperation and solutions; then, patriotism, local concerns and
state interests are both deeply entrenched.
How can modern philosophers be more original?
Should academics be able to write in plain everyday language?
What do current philosophers usually do?
Do we have lower regards for current philosophers? If so, why?
 

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Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,733
Florania
Can any people cite major philosophers after 1970s?
 
Jul 2019
800
New Jersey
Once philosophers did away with the concept of an eternal and immutable truth they destroyed the basis for their profession. Which is why the only philosophers who excite much interest these days are the Aristotelian - Thomistic holdovers (i.e. Edward Feser), or the unethical "ethicists" like Singer who occasionally pop out of the ivory tower to advocate eugenics or euthanasia or whatever other moral perversion is currently in vogue.
 
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Nov 2016
1,262
Germany
The most important philosophers of the present are the American Ken Wilber and the German Jürgen Habermas, there is absolutely no question about that.

I personally also like Zizek very much, but his concept of combining Hegel with the psychoanalysis of Lacan is too special to give him the rank of a top philosopher at the level of Wilber and Habermas.



It is Ken Wilber's merit to be the first to have developed a model that plausibly and differentiatedly relates and connects Western and Eastern psychological and philosophical systems. By incorporating spiritual dimensions of experience from the teachings of the Buddhist tradition and Vedanta into the upper realms of a so-called "spectum of consciousness", he succeeds in structurally expanding the conventional Western mental theories of the present, which also makes it possible to link classical metaphysical ideas from the occidental tradition of philosophy and mysticism with modern theoretical concepts.

The idea of a gradual construction of the human mind beyond the personal realm has always found its followers and theorists in East and West. His core statement is: the human mind generally contains a potential for development that by no means finds its limit at the level of the everyday subject considered normal today, but extends far beyond it into areas that were marked by mystics of all times as cosmic consciousness or enlightenment consciousness.

Plotin had described the cosmic whole as the One, the Hen, through whose continuous overflow things descend over several stages into being, to finally pass as pure matter into the (relative) nothingness, into the lowest manifestation of the One Being. The realm of everyday human perception comprises the middle zone of this order of stages, without man being separated from the other stages in his being; rather, all these planes are synchronous in him, in his mind and his body, effective and true, even if he is not aware of it.

It is known that Plotin gained this view not only through speculation and the reading of theories, but also and above all through the repeated experience of spontaneous visions, which let him see the true being of being. Of course, many such insights consider an indication of psychotic madness or radical regression into a narcissistic stage of omnipotence, far from even approximating the real of being. Psychoanalysts in particular have such arguments, whose patterns they borrow from Freud. For them, sexual orgasm is usually considered the non plus ultra human happiness and the true heaven above the hustle and bustle of the human world. Of course the mystics know how short-lived, small and low this heaven is. Wilber speaks in this context of Freud's "compulsive preoccupation with sexuality, the only 'juicy' thing the arid flatland world still had to offer".

The reason for the psychoanalytic defensive attitude against transcendental speculation is obvious: it is the legacy of the critical aspect of an Enlightenment tradition that in the three centuries before Freud had been vigorously and relatively successful in eliminating repressive theological thought patterns.

Personally, I really like Sam Harris.
Ken Wilber (born 1949) looks older than he is due to a chronic fatigue syndrome, possibly caused by RNase enzyme deficiency disease.

 
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Aug 2017
9
Cape Town
As it happens, Habermas just released a monumental ( 1700ish pages...Jeez ) new work this week. The title roughly translates to "Another History of Philosophy". German media are mostly ecstatic, but that is to be expected, the guy is larger than life and the self-proclaimed nation of poets and thinkers doesn't have a lot of other relevant authors at the moment.

I don't think it is a available in English yet, it is generally very difficult to translate his language.
 
Nov 2016
1,262
Germany
As it happens, Habermas just released a monumental ( 1700ish pages...Jeez ) new work this week.
Thanks for information. He is 90 yr old now! Here is the blurb for the book, provisionally translated by me:

The new book by Jürgen Habermas is also a story of philosophy. In the style of a genealogy, it provides information on how the dominant figures of Western post-metaphysical thought emerged today. The discourse on faith and knowledge, which emerged from two strong traditions of the Axis period in the Roman Empire, serves as a guide for him. Habermas traces how philosophy successively detached itself from its symbiosis with religion and secularized itself. From a systematic perspective, he works out the decisive conflicts, learning processes and caesura as well as the accompanying transformations in science, law, politics and society.
But the new book by Jürgen Habermas is not just a history of philosophy. It is also a reflection on the task of a philosophy that adheres to the reasonable freedom of communicatively socialized subjects: It is intended to clarify "what our growing scientific knowledge of the world means to us - for us as human beings, as modern contemporaries and as individual persons".
 

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Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,733
Florania
This is a lengthy and rare word: Philosophunclist, which means a minor or petty philosopher.
I can see the flood of self-help books, and they often sound like philosophunclists in spite of the status as bestsellers.