Hoe zaagt men van dik hout planken? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 108, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244



Among many academic philosophers, philosophy for the general public has a bad reputation. In this paper I give an overview of the main points of criticism, and use these to develop a positive account of what good philosophy for the general public could be. As a first step towards such an account, I outline different views on how philosophy for the general public can relate to academic philosophy. Subsequently, I argue that what makes philosophy for the general public ‘good’, is just what makes philosophical work in general ‘good’: good philosophical work has a philosophical aim, employs philosophical methods and employs these methods in a sound way. Finally I argue that communicability of philosophical ideas should not be seen as a bonus feature but as the of philosophical thinking: if academic philosophy paid more attention to communicability, we might not even need a distinct discipline of philosophy for the general public. I conclude with some concrete suggestions for improving such communicability.


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