Monday, April 16, 2012

Breaking News: Philosophy Doesn't Exist

Following the lead of New Atheists like Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris who claim to have demonstrated that God almost certainly doesn't exist, a pair of Copenhagen philosophers have constructed a proof that philosophy doesn't exist either. You can read the report that has rocked the academic world here.

Just for the sake of cheap titillation I'll share with you the lede:
Two philosophers based in Denmark have apparently come up with a proof that shows that philosophy doesn’t exist and their discovery is rocking the philosophical community. For centuries, philosophy has been at the core of just about every discipline and has provided a foundation for most of Western thought. From Plato to Kripke, philosophers have been tackling the universe’s toughest problems. But in 2012 Dr. Soren Filosht and another thinker who wants to be known only as “Dagmar” have developed a complex argument that ostensibly shows that philosophy is merely the product of wishful thinking and has no basis in reality.

The two Danes are arguing that disciplines like metaphysics and epistemology are a crutch that the weak-minded have used to better understand the world, and their proof casts serious doubt on whether these things actually exist. “It’s necessarily true that everything is just real and reality consists of properties, relations, sets, and facts and you can study them. No metaphysics required.” claims Dagmar.

Epistemology, too, is a chimera and these thinkers are calling on all philosophers to give it up. “Look, we just know stuff. If you are justified in believing a statement is true, then you know it. People who believe they’re doing ‘epistemology’ just confuse the matter and the sooner they come to believe that, the better off we’ll all be.”

They developed their proof while sampling the wide variety of local plant life in Christiana (a small community inside of Copenhagen). As with most discoveries of this kind, they weren’t looking for it. They were functioning as working philosophers developing a paper that attempted to show that Kripke’s possible worlds have no basis in anything actual.

“We were close. Real close.” Dagmar recalls. “Then we got a brainwave, as if we were in some kind of psychotic hallucination.” Not only are possible worlds not actual, they hit upon the striking fact that philosophy itself isn’t real. “We kind of felt like modern-day Descarteses; we thought philosophy out of existence: cogito ergo non philosophia.” Filosht added, visibly shaken as he spoke.
"Visibly shaken" probably doesn't begin to describe what's being felt in humanities departments all across the world. Read the rest of this revolutionary achievement - an achievement to rival that of Dawkins, Hitchens, Harris, et al. - at the link.