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Will philosophy change?

For decades abstruse, technical philosophy has dominated the field—but is that changing, and should we want it to?

By Alex Dean  

Gottlob Frege, arguably the founder of analytic philosophy

In June I had a conversation with the formidable Australian philosopher Peter Singer—well-known to philosophy undergraduates around the world for his “muddy trousers” thought experiment. Over the course of 45 minutes or so we chatted about the branch of philosophy of which he is a key proponent—called “effective altruism”—but also about the nature of philosophy itself. Philosophical inquiry, Singer argued, should be directly aimed at encouraging people to do good…

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