In 2020 and 2021, public discourse in Germany and elsewhere was largely dominated by the coronavirus pandemic. All scientific disciplines were requested to speak, but of course the contributions of the social sciences and, above all, philosophy received special attention. The fact that philosophers, some of them very famous or at least very well represented in the media, leaned out the window in evaluating events, was soon discussed at a meta-level. Diagnosis was made of “the failure of philosophy” or – more vaguely – the failure of the public intellectuals, and on social media one could repeatedly experience lengthy phases in which the impression could arise that “philosophy” was a dirty word. Was, or at least a catchy word for a certain way of talking about head and neck.
I’m purposely stating this so vaguely and anonymously because with this column I don’t want to get involved in beating up a person or exposing others as particularly trustworthy. If you know my previous contributions on the topic of COVID-19, you already know for sure that I generally stand for restraint and thoughtful silence, not the thesis of a rigid thesis.
Instead, I’d like to introduce you to two online resources on philosophy and the media – in the hope that they will make a small contribution to the fact that the pandemic-damaged image of public philosophy can be repaired again in 2022.
it’s worth a read over here
my first suggestion for you is this » PhilPublica, a non-commercial, free and ad-free portal operated jointly by the two largest philosophical expert societies in Germany, the German Society for Philosophy eV and the Society for Analytical Philosophy eV. Above all, PhilPublica is an aggregator: links to articles by academic philosophers available online are summarized on a wide variety of German-language channels, according to clearly defined guidelines. There are also brief interviews with philosophical personalities and blog posts from editorial partners. With PhilPublica it’s possible to see at a glance what philosophical topics are currently being talked about in the media. Even for me as a philosopher who consumes a lot of media, it is always revealing and broadening my horizons to look at it. PhilPublica also offers events and collects links to resources that aim to better qualify philosophers in public science communication.
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