Grice on Practical Use of Philosophy

But I doubt if any of the other tasks which I would like to see the philosophers fulfill will be enough to satisfy some people who raise this objection. They want philosophy to be grand, to yield one important, nonempirical information which will help one to solve either the world's problems or one's personal problems, or both. To them I feel inclined to reply in the end: “You are crying for the moon; philosophy has never really fulfilled this task, though it may sometimes have appeared to do so (and the practical consequences of its appearing to do so have not always been very agreeable). It is no more sensible to complain that philosophy is no longer capable of solving practical problems than it is to complain that the study of the stars no longer enables one to predict the course of world events.”
Paul Grice (1958) Postwar Oxford Philosophy


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