Nearly everyone thinks about philosophy.
People ask philosophical questions and make philosophical assumptions all the time–about fairness, freedom, and friendship; obligation, family, and the environment; objectivity, taste, and facts vs. opinions; God, purpose, and what it is to live a meaningful life . . .
Today, however, sustained philosophical thinking is practiced mostly in universities. Its benefits are bestowed only on the select few who enroll in a philosophy course.
And yet, today more than ever we are exposed to vast amounts of information and a wide variety of opinions that claim our attention and demand response. Impatience, overconfidence, and bias are perennial obstacles to sound reasoning, which the Internet and contemporary media have only intensified. Attention in the face of distraction; the ability to assimilate inconvenient information; a tolerance for uncertainty and not knowing the right answer—these need to be cultivated in our youngest generations, nourished in our communities, and celebrated in public discourse.
Through programming, events and media, the Center for Public Philosophy seeks to empower the public with the tools and insights of philosophy, and to help foster a more thoughtful, engaged community of thinkers.