The Chronicle of Higher Education has posted a nice set of portraits called “Gallery of Minds,” featuring images of 10 world-famous philosophers, including Richard Rorty, David Chalmers, and renowned philosopher and art critic Arthur Danto, who also wrote a compelling introduction. Danto focuses on the visual artistry of the series’ photographer Steve Pyke, a long-time staff member at the New Yorker, but we found the great thinkers’ own statements — their answers to the “why” of their chosen pursuits — equally, if not more, compelling. Here is MIT’s feminist metaphysician Sally Haslinger:
Given the amount of suffering and injustice in the world, I flip-flop between thinking that doing philosophy is a complete luxury and that it is an absolute necessity. The idea that it is something in between strikes me as a dodge.
Philosophy’s distinguishing value? For me, it resides not so much in the big questions’ multifarious answers, themselves, nor, alas, in wisdom attained through the exacting process of answering them, but rather in how it invariably reminds us how little we really do know. Philosophy is, or should be, humbling — and is, for this, ennobling.
We’re hoping to rely on our loyal readers rather than erratic ads. To support Open Culture’s educational mission, please consider making a donation. We accept PayPal, Venmo (@openculture), Patreon and Crypto! Please find all options here. We thank you!
Open Culture scours the web for the best educational media. We find the free courses and audio books you need, the language lessons & educational videos you want, and plenty of enlightenment in between.
Open Culture (openculture.com) and our trusted partners use technology such as cookies on our website to personalise ads, support social media features, and analyze our traffic. Please click below to consent to the use of this technology while browsing our site.
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.