What Philosophers Are Asking Today (for World Philosophy Day 2017)

“What is the meaning of life?” That’s probably the question that springs to mind when a non-philosopher is asked what philosophers study. And while some philosophers do in fact work on that question, like any single question it does not capture the extraordinary range and diversity of subjects philosophers are thinking and writing about. 

Today is World Philosophy Day. Created by the United Nations in 2002, World Philosophy Day is celebrated annually on the third Thursday of November. Its objectives, according to the UN, are:

  1. to renew the national, subregional, regional and international commitment to philosophy;
  2. to foster philosophical analysis, research and studies on major contemporary issues, so as to respond more effectively to the challenges that are confronting humanity today;
  3. to raise public awareness of the importance of philosophy and its critical use in the choices arising for many societies from the effects of globalization or entry into modernity;
  4. to appraise the state of philosophy teaching throughout the world, with special emphasis on unequal access;
  5. to underline the importance of the universalization of philosophy teaching for future generations.

In recognition of World Philosophy Day, let’s do our part to share with the world what today’s philosophers are up to.

Each day, thousands of philosophy professors and students (and others) visit Daily Nous. It would be wonderful if a good number of you could take a moment to write down, in a comment on this post, one question you are currently working on.*

The result could be an interesting and accessible snapshot of philosophy in 2017.

I’ll do what I can to promote the post widely (it would help if you shared it and encouraged people to post a question they’re working on). Together, we can try to raise awareness of what philosophers are thinking about today, and perhaps catch the attention of those who otherwise might have not realized they are interested in what philosophers are doing.

*Yes, just one each: don’t worry, we won’t think that the question you list is the only thing you’re interested in or currently working on.

Art: Image based on photos of “Question Mark” by Kumi Yamashita

Related: “Why Did You Go Into Philosophy?“, “The Intellectual Achievement of Creating Questions

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