Salvador Pániker at

Paniker200In 1959, C. P. Snow gave a famous lecture at Cambridge entitled “The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution”, lamenting the academic and professional scission between the field of science and that of letters. In 1991, the literary agent John Brockman popularized the concept of the third culture, to refer to the dawning of the scientist-writer, and hence, the birth of a new humanism. A humanism no longer bound to the classical sense of the term, but instead a new hybridization between the sciences and the humanities.

As far as philosophy is concerned, this new humanism should be aware of not only the latest in sciences, but also to as many tendencies of contemporary thought as is possible. Meaning that philosophy should not remain shut up in a professional academic department, but instead participate in an interdisciplinary intersection, “in conversation”—as the recently disappeared Richard Rorty would say—with all the other sciences. Philosophy needs to trace the maps of reality. The philosopher is, in the words of Plato, “he who possesses a vision of the whole (synoptikos),” in such, he who organizes that which is most relevant of the “stored information” (culture) and sketches out the new world views (provisional, but coherent). Moreover, the initial intuition of the analytic philosophers—who were the first to point out the importance of avoiding the traps set by language—should not be thrown out altogether.

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