Philosophy to address global challenges


Do we need to single out of a particular day for philosophy---where a large number of people sneeringly despise of studying philosophy in the present day?  This question is not impertinent at prima facie because philosophy has always been at the target of modern commercial study.  Philosophy is commonly conceived to be an ever criticizing branch of knowledge as saying that it has nothing to do with the problems of life.  

However, this time appears to be the illuminating phase of human learning because the United Nations (UN) has recognized the importance of philosophy with much care. Accordingly, all member countries of the world have officially put au fait of the necessity of a philosophical approach to human learning. 

But, the question is more pertinent here; does philosophy need to be recognized by any particular organization? Does the importance of philosophy depend on any recognition or extolling from any quarter? Obviously not, because of the fact that philosophy must stands by its own merit as the most fundamental branch of human learning and it is the most effective way to understand the secrecy of nature. Besides, philosophy has always been responsible and takes challenges to make a peaceful world.  However, any recognition from any part is something exciting and, of course, this is the UN, the apex body of world, that declares a day for philosophy as the most essential tool of the present world to make it more democratic, more interacting, and more fundamental branch of human knowledge. 

Broadly speaking, people and the world have at least five sorts of problems now that make life more complicated, these are: climate, economic, social, cultural and ethical problems. And all other problems come out of this crisis. Social complications and societal complexities make an endurable place for philosophy. 

To be sure, philosophy had a great deal with the epistemological issue that finally seeks the way to liberate human mind from false convictions. As a result, philosophy enables human beings to invigorate the critical mind and also to dislocate prejudices and superstitious beliefs from human heart. Philosophy comes from human doubt and curiosity and also from constant asking to know the exact truth. As a result, philosophy is the primary branch of human knowledge which is often called the science of thought.  

The area of philosophy is exceedingly big and the area is being expended with the advent of new crisis in life. For obvious reasons, the branches of philosophy thus have been multifariously divided. Philosophy of art, philosophy of science, philosophy of economics and game, and also philosophy of religion had been introduced to the mainstream of human thoughts. 

Political philosophy is the oldest issue in history made earlier by Plato and Aristotle following the crisis of Greece. To find a political solution these philosophers proposed a structure of political paradigm in Republic and Politics respectively.  Recently, scientists are found to be more active in political discussions to have a possible solution for political amity.

The source of scientific knowledge, the methodology it follows, the discrepancy between scientific theory and practice and also the subtlety of scientific arguments are critically examined by the philosophers.    

Again, one of an important task of philosophy is to teach patience and habit of mutual understanding which is in urgent need in present day world. People have become more individualistic and self-centered than any other time in past which finally makes them alienated; alienated from society and persons too. This happens everywhere and it has been reflected in both personal and state life. 

So, by introducing a day for philosophy UNESCO has given the right status philosophy genuinely deserves. It is declared that “philosophy is a discipline that encourages critical and independent thought and is capable of working towards a better understanding of the world and promoting tolerance and peace.” 

Again, multicultural coexistence and multilingual connectivity had been encouraged by philosophy. The true value of philosophy is thus ensured by the creating an atmosphere to ensure dialogue and connectivity.  

It becomes a world of challenges; a society of extremism and everything we take for it is extremely idiocies. Society becomes more belligerent more intolerant, and insane. Conflict between countries and disparity among the nations becomes the bone of contention. Philosophy comes forward to end the crisis. 


Dr. Siddhartha Shankar Joarder is a Professor and Chairperson, Dept. of Philosophy, Jagannath University, Dhaka