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¿Cuál es el papel de la filosofía en la vida cotidiana?

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Tim Maudlin

Profesor de filosofía en la Universidad Rutgers, se especializa en la filosofía de la física

Tim Maudlin es profesor de filosofía en Rutgers, en el estado de Nueva Jersey (EEUU). Es autor de las obras “Quantum Non-Locality and Relativity” (Blackwell, 2a ed., 2002), “Truth and Paradox” (Oxford, 2004), y “The Metaphysics within Physics” (Oxford, 2007), así como de numerosos artículos sobre los fundamentos de la física, la lógica y la filosofía de la ciencia.
Maudlin creció en Washington, DC, se licenció en la Universidad de Yale en física y filosofía, y tiene un doctorado de la Universidad de Pittsburgh en historia y filosofía de la ciencia. Sus intereses se centran en la intersección de la física y la filosofía, intentando explicar cómo sería el mundo físico si nuestras teorías físicas actuales están en el buen camino.
What is the role of philosophy in everyday life?

What I’ve been asked to talk about is the role of philosophy in everyday life. Now, you might think of philosophy as a body of doctrine, of beliefs, of claims about the world, about what’s the good or what’s the meaning of life or what the world is made of.
But there’re lots of bodies of doctrine that are not philosophy. What’s really characteristic about philosophy isn’t the doctrine because philosophers disagree on everything, what’s characteristic about philosophy it’s rather its method. Philosophers want to know the reasons, or the grounds, or the evidence for something. They’re always asking why they ought to believe a claim. So, for example, Socrates asked himself whether he should believe the common Greek mythology of the time, that there were many gods who fought with each other and he thought it through and decided it didn’t make any sense because if they were gods they would all know what the good was and, if they all agreed on what the good was, they wouldn’t fight. And for that, of course, he was put to death. So philosophy can be a dangerous enterprise. But the idea that you should always ask yourself ‘why should I believe something?’ is a very important one and covers every aspect of our lives. It’s frightening to think how much of our picture of the world we’ve simply accepted because someone told us that’s how it is. Now, of course you can’t go into detail into every little thing and trace back the reasons for a particular claim to their roots. But you can get a general sense of why people believe what they do, what their evidence is, and you can think about the alternatives and you can think about how you might be wrong, even in very fundamental things that guide your life. And, hopefully, through that, people become a little more modest, and willing to talk to each other, and willing to listen to each other. Because you quickly understand that there isn’t very much you really know for sure.
If everyone adopted that attitude in their lives every day it would be valuable for everyone.

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