Philosophy can help us in this time of crisis
One might say I have plenty of time to read now. The problem is, that everything I read seems to be so useless. Utterly useless. I don’t know why. There seems to be a pre-corona- and post corona-time. Especially when I read stuff on Critical Theory, political analysis, economics, climate change and so on. Everything has changed. The coronavirus pandemic throws up fundamental political, ethical and existential questions. How can philosophers help in this hour of need?
One way to think about the pandemic is in terms of humanity coming together to fight a natural threat in the form of a virus. Most of us panic when being confronted with these sorts of threats: isolation, illness or anxiety.
Philosophy can help. As a public practice, it is not a service that an academic brings. It is more than that. It is, and remains, “a reciprocal process of theory and practice (or praxis)”. That’s what I always loved about philosophy. It can be a useful toolbox that makes you understand how things work. Truly, it does. For me, philosophy is an internal technology of the mind.
That’s why it can be useful in understanding what is going on right now. In 2020, in full COVID-19-pandemic-mode. We are witnessing one of the greatest crises my generation (Millennial) has ever seen. That’s something. We need answers. Guidance. Perspective.