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The Place of Philosophy in European Culture

Faculty of Arts and Scieneces
Publication Date
  • Philosophy
  • High Culture
  • Natural Sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Analytic Philosophy
  • “Continental” Philosophy
  • Economics
  • Mathematics
  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences


In this paper the author investigates the place of philosophy in European culture. Philosophy has taken a considerable time to be recognised, or to recognise itself, as distinct from other disciplines. Although philosophy gave birth to physics and, more recently, to other sciences, it is not seen as a “technical” subject, like mathematics and natural sciences, or even social sciences such as economics. Philosophy is available to the general (educated) public while the technical subjects are not. All educated people know the names of the great Western philosophers. Less people know the names of the great mathematicians (other than those such as Descartes and Leibniz which were, at the same time, philosophers). Therefore, philosophy has not lost its place as part of high culture, as have the natural sciences and mathematics. Philosophy continues to exert a pervasive effect upon European culture in general. However, according to the author, two tasks lie before philosophers; two gulfs are for us to bridge. The fi rst one is the gulf between philosophers of all schools and scientists (particularly physicists); the other one is that between divergent philosophical schools – between analytical philosophy and so called “continental” philosophy. If it solves these problems, philosophy will remain what it has been in the past – a shining component of European culture.

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