Socrates Tenured (Intro)

Socrates Tenured: the Institutions of 21st Century Philosophy
Robert Frodeman and Adam Briggle
Roman & Littlefield, spring 2016

Professional philosophy has strayed from its roots so badly that Socrates wouldn’t stand a chance of landing tenure in most departments today. After all, he spent his time chatting with the rabble rather than boning up on the secondary literature and polishing arguments for peer-reviewed journals. In Socrates Tenured, we diagnose the pathologies of contemporary philosophy and show how it can be revitalized. In the first part, we sketch the crisis facing philosophy in a neoliberal age and trace its roots back to the 20th century move to turn philosophy into an academic discipline. We then look at various attempts from applied ethics to public philosophy to confront the resulting problems of insularity and societal irrelevance. The second part argues that such approaches must be institutionalized if they are to serve as a viable paradigm for a 21st century philosophy. We illustrate this argument through the theory and practice of what we call “field philosophy.”

Click to read the full introduction to the book.