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Environmental Crisis, Philosophy & the Search for Meaning - ROBERT PIPPIN - Highlights

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“Philosophy is both an academic discipline and also something that everybody does. Everybody has to have reflective views about what's significant. They also have to justify to themselves why it's significant or important. The nature of justice itself, and the various opinions that have been written about in philosophy about justice, can get to a very high level. So there's this unusual connection between philosophy and human life. We've inherited from the Middle Ages, this incredible tradition that's now developed into a chance for young people to spend four or five years, in a way, released from the pressures of life. The idea to pursue your ideas a little further in these four years you have, exempt from the pressures of social life, allows philosophy to have a kind of position unique in the academy. In confronting what the best minds in the history of the world have had to say about these issues, the hope is that they provide for the people who are privileged enough to confront philosophy a better and more thoughtful approach to these fundamental questions that everybody has to confront.”

What is the importance of philosophy in the 21st century as we enter a post-truth world? How can we reintroduce meaning and uphold moral principles in our world shaken by crises? And what does philosophy teach us about living in harmony with the natural world?

Robert Pippin is the Evelyn Stefansson Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago where he teaches in the College, Committee on Social Thought, and Department of Philosophy. Pippin is widely acclaimed for his scholarship in German idealism as well as later German philosophy, including publications such as Modernism as a Philosophical Problem, and Hegel’s Idealism. In keeping with his interdisciplinary interests, Pippin’s book Henry James and Modern Moral Life explores the intersections between philosophy and literature. Pippin’s most recent published book is The Culmination: Heidegger, German Idealism, and the Fate of Philosophy.

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