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Everyday philosophy: what price wisdom?

In the Gradgrind world of spending cuts, what is the value of philosophy?

By Nigel Warburton   December 2010

The news for the humanities in the Gradgrind world of spending cuts is grim. British university teaching subsidies are to be slashed. We’re on the brink of a cost-benefit world in which favoured subjects, especially the sciences, can expect a degree of protection thanks to demonstrable “usefulness.” Others will have to pay their way. So how does philosophy measure up in this new economy?

If true value is indicated by people’s willingness to pay, philosophy has a reputable history. Thinkers belonging to the Peripatetic school in ancient Greece ran private tutorials at high market rates—despite one of the greatest philosophers…

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