Questions Queue

I propose this as a place Global Circle members pose questions they believe are vitally important, will serve to provide insight, and are within the scope of the Global Circle. Members are encouraged to contribute answers, pointers to existing resources that provide partial answers, refinements of the questions, and related questions. Links to answers being developed are included. Members are also encouraged to indicate the urgency and importance they attribute to the question. Please offer your comments via reply to this post. I’ll update this list as comments are received.

Here is the current list of questions:

    1. What is the aim and purpose of the Global Circle? How is the Global Circle differentiated from other groups of philosophers, other discussion groups, and other organizations working on global problems? In a paragraph or two, how do you describe the aim and purpose you would ideally like to see?
    2. Imagine the world as you would like it to be; as you believe it ultimately can be. Please describe this world. What makes that world good? What makes that world better than other concepts of desirable future worlds? What is of value in life, and how is it to be realized? What stages do you foresee the world transforming through to attain that wise world.
    3. What is the most pervasive obstacle slowing progress toward that wise world?
    4. What matters most?
    5. What educational curriculum best prepares people to live wisely?
    6. What is the most important action that can be taken to increase progress toward the wise world we envision?
    7. What are the grand challenges the world now faces?
    8. How can government effectiveness best be assessed? How can government effectiveness best be improved?
    9. How can bureaucracies learn to make wiser decisions?
    10. How can the general populace become wiser?
    11. How can we best assess the level of wisdom of an individual, a group, an organization, an institution, a nation or the world? Where is wisdom coming to life?
    12. What unfounded assumptions do we allow to go unchallenged? Which ones are most consequential?
    13. What forces, if any, work to align legal justice with moral justice?



One thought on “Questions Queue

  1. A Couple Relevant Questions

    I’ll provide some brief context below these questions, in order to contextualize/explain them and acknowledge some simplifications that they involve, as asked (depending on how you interpret them). But first I’ll pose them:

    1. To what degree must it be “intellectually established”, via the intellect and reason, rather than also (or “merely”) by means of emotion/empathy/compassion and so forth, that philosophy should be aimed at actually improving the conditions of life and life itself on Earth (rather than merely the pursuit and acquisition of more and more “knowledge”), before philosophers will commit themselves to that aim — or put another way, to the aim of helping humankind realize — in all senses — wisdom? In other words, to what degree will philosophy/philosophers need it to be “intellectually established”, “beyond reasoned doubt”, that philosophy should commit herself to the improvement of life on Earth, before she embraces this role and engages others, and society, in order to actually make substantial progress toward this aim?

    2. Does academic philosophy — or rather, philosophers in academia — believe it/they are actually practicing and demonstrating “whole philosophy” — that is, genuine philosophy in her wholeness — or, instead, do they recognize that, while they are “teaching” some aspects of philosophy, i.e., some of her components, they have actually accepted and adopted a much narrower specialization, consistent (it might be said) with the so-called “division of labor” that is so prevalent in our modern times, and have correspondingly abdicated a great deal of the activity that would and should be involved if one were to actually practice and demonstrate whole philosophy in the living world? In other words, do philosophers in academia think of themselves as “whole practicing philosophers” or do they see themselves, at least in their professional roles, as somewhat narrower educational specialists, not living up to the full label ‘philosopher’?

    The context I wanted to provide, especially for the first question, is this: The question as posed seems to suggest or accept the idea that the “intellect” and “reason” are somehow entirely separate or separable from emotion/empathy/compassion/body/heart and so forth. I DON’T intend to suggest that, of course. Instead, the question is posed simplistically, in terms that many people might accept, in a way that is aimed at provoking thought about the whole matter. To what degree must philosophers be “intellectually convinced”, so to speak, that philosophy should care about and dedicate herself to improving the conditions of life on Earth and to the improvement of life, and lives, on Earth, before philosophers will actually commit themselves much more energetically to that aim?

    Is it some sort of “intellectual proof” that many philosophers seem to be waiting for? Or, have many philosophers simply and knowingly accepted a narrow specialization consistent with the modern idea of a “division of labor” in society, abdicating much of the actual role of philosophy in the process?

    Any comments?



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