Santiago Zabala and Creston Davis in Al Jazeera:
At a recent Google Zeitgeist conference, Stephen Hawking boldly pronounced that “philosophy is dead”.
It is dead, he thinks, because philosophy is passé. Hawking believes philosophy is like a guy who shows up at a cocktail party just after the guests have left. Why would one of the most intelligent humans alive say such a provocative thing? His reasons are obvious: “Philosophers,” Hawking says, “have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics.”
According to Hawking, the conversation about the truth of the world rests in the hands of elite physics professors funded by multinational corporations and national governments. Should we believe this pronouncement just because it comes from an eminence such as Hawking? Could it be that some categorical mistake has been committed by the likes of Hawking who, in our opinion, mistakes philosophy for theology?
The debate over the death of philosophy begun by Hawking not only rests on wrong premises, but also searches for an inadequate solution. First, philosophy is still taught in universities, and second, philosophers continue to write books that disagree on the meaning of our existential relation with the world. We submit that a more precise question needs to be addressed: Which philosophy is dead?