Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Stephen Hawking tells Google 'philosophy is dead'

Cosmologist Stephen Hawking recently advised us that if we have faith in a God, or believe in heaven, then we are using a "fairy tale" to defend us from our "fear of the dark".

Now he's declared that philosophy is dead. Apparently, the world of science has advanced so much, it's left the art of philosophy behind. “Most of us don't worry about these questions most of the time. But almost all of us must sometimes wonder: Why are we here? Where do we come from? Traditionally, these are questions for philosophy, but philosophy is dead,” he said. “Philosophers have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics.”

My worry is this - if philosophy is dead, who's going to protect the scientists from their own narcissism?

Philosophy and its related disciplines offer an essential counterbalance to the modernist paradigm, which assumes that we can (and should) know everything - and that science has all the answers. I'm not at all convinced it does.


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