mercredi 3 août 2011

La philosophie est-elle importante?

Pour ceux qui s'intéressent aux questions de philosophie morale, il y a deux papiers très intéressants dans le New York Times. L'un de Paul Boghossian, professeur de philosophie à la New York University qui qualifie le relativisme moral de nihilisme puisque pour les relativistes il n'existe pas d'idées morales absolues et universelles mais des concepts moraux liés à une société donnée, relatifs à cette société. Et cette semaine la réponse d'un tenant du relativisme, le professeur Stanley Fish qui défend ses positions devant l'attaque de Boghossian (avec beaucoup moins de talent, selon moi) et qui déclare qu'au fond les absolus moraux ne sont pas pertinents pour la vie quotidienne de la plupart des gens.

"But does any of this matter outside the esoteric arena of philosophical disputation? Let’s suppose that either of two acts of persuasion has occurred in that arena: a former moral absolutist is now a relativist of some kind, or a former relativist is now a confirmed believer in moral absolutes. What exactly will have changed when one set of philosophical views has been swapped for another? Almost nothing. To be sure you will now give different answers than you once would have when you are asked about moral facts, objective truths, irrefutable evidence and so on; but when you are engaged in trying to decide what is the right thing to do in a particular situation, none of the answers you might give to these deep questions will have any bearing on your decision. You won’t say, “Because I believe in moral absolutes, I’ll take this new job or divorce my husband or vote for the Democrat.” Nor will you say, “Because I deny moral absolutes I have no basis for deciding since any decision I make is as good or bad as any other.” What you will say, if only to yourself, is “Given what is at stake, and the likely outcomes of taking this or that action, I think I’ll do this.” Neither “I believe in moral absolutes” nor “I don’t” will be a reason in the course of ordinary, non-philosophical, délibération."

Personnellement je suis convaincu par Boghossian et stupéfait des arguments de Fish