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The Role of Philosophy in the University.
Kelly, Thomas A.F.
Iris Murdoch once remarked that, ‘to do philosophy is to explore one’s own temperament, and yet at the same time to attempt to discover the truth’.1 Elsewhere, Murdoch talks about a necessary tension within the discipline: It is sometimes said, either irritably or with a certain satisfaction, that philosophy makes no progress. It is certainly true, and I think this is an abiding and not a regrettable characteristic of the discipline, that philosophy has in a sense to keep trying to return to the beginning: a thing which it is not at all easy to do. There is a two-way movement in philosophy, a movement towards the building of elaborate theories, and a move back again towards the consideration of simple and obvious facts. McTaggart says that time is unreal, Moore replies that he has just had his breakfast. Both these aspects of philosophy are necessary to it.2 To explore one’s own temperament and to try to discover the truth; to keep in mind the simple and the obvious and to construct necessarily ever more elaborate explanations: there is a rhythm of expansion and return which is vital to philosophy, a kind o f respiration which must endure, despite philosophy’s many transformations during its long career. Murdoch presents a partial view of that respiration of philosophy, a return by philosophy to basics even as it stretches out towards a complete, articulate understanding, insofar as this is possible.
Keyword(s): maynooth; university; meaning and value of higher education; higher education; price; philosophy
Publication Date:
Type: Book chapter
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Contributor(s): Kelly, T.A.F.
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Kelly, Thomas A.F. (2006) The Role of Philosophy in the University. In: What Price the University? Perspectives on the Meaning and Value of Higher Education from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. National University of Ireland Maynooth, Maynooth, Ireland, pp. 151-162. ISBN 0901519766
Publisher(s): National University of Ireland Maynooth
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2020-04-02 06:18:53 Last Updated: 2020-04-02 06:18:53