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Ireneusz Ziemiński


Ireneusz Ziemiński

Praising Philosophy

Referring to a short essay by Leszek Kołakowski, About the Job of a Philosopher, in which a philosopher is compared to a circus clown and a waste collector, the author attempts to answer the question whether there is any justification for philosophy being a separate academic field. The answer, despite many doubts, is positive, since philosophy is needed as a critique of culture (and the prevalent myths), and especially as the discipline on the grounds of which fundamental questions about the meaning of existence (including the meaning of human existence) are asked, questions which other academic fields do not take up. While praising philosophy, the author also warns philosophers of professional pride which may sometimes lead to disregarding other sciences. Contrary to the measurable (theoretical and practical) effects of empirical sciences, philosophy is rather a path to skepticism, since the questions it asks remain (at least for now) impossible to answer.

Keywords: philosophy, science, skepticism, critique, meaning of existence, meaning of life.

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