To all member societies, associations, and institutes of Fisp
Dear fellow philosophers, colleagues, and friends,
Today, we celebrate the first Philosophy Day after the grand World Congress that took place this past August in Beijing.
Much has changed in our views of philosophy over the last years. We can see the extent to which our ways of practicing philosophy are evolving across most, if not all, of our philosophical disciplines. Increasing space is made for themes, ideas, even styles that belong to a plurality of philosophical traditions; debates are taking place in our circles, societies, and institutions to reassess the specificity of philosophical methods while expanding the boundaries of philosophical research; histories of philosophy are being reconsidered in more comprehensive ways; areas of philosophical scholarship are diversely merging notions that proceed from a plurality of theoretical legacies.
Regardless of our individual stances, which are hopefully divergent and in fruitful disagreement, our discipline is thoroughly rethinking its theoretical and historical scope. In this process, its concerns are not unlike those of other fields in the humanities. Tenets that underpinned large parts of philosophical thought in the modern and contemporary era are being challenged by a growing sense of the diversity of philosophical concepts that are required to make sense of the social and ethical complexity of our world. While creativity, imagination, historical awareness, feeling, learning, critical thinking, and analysis are required to form new conceptual tools, this effort also confronts us with a very sensitive reappraisal of the nature of philosophy and its relations with other forms of spirituality, of science, and of religion.
We are certainly called to contribute, from contrasting standpoints and through different expertises, to this critical time of our discipline. This is also why today philosophy matters so much for our individual and social lives. While a large part of our world is still suffering from injustice, prevarication, exclusion, social, ethnic and gender discrimination, violence, and hunger, philosophers have a role to play in orienting cultural and social choices within our societies. Yes, philosophy may be an enjoyable activity; yet, its sensitivity for inclusiveness, its care for bringing to the fore intersectional forms of exclusion, and eventually eradicate them, is also a reason for pride, and for continued commitment.
As an international day of celebration, Philosophy Day may help us think of our discipline in a widely comprehensive way. I would like to wish us all a fruitful Day, and an opportunity for thinking of our discipline as a free, open space to argue, discuss, and work together.
Luca Maria Scarantino
President of Fisp.