2020-02Editorial
Serious Dilettantism: Reflections on an Impossible Profession

Preview:

If we define “philosophy” simply as “love of knowledge,” then it is obviously a requirement for any serious scientific, scholarly, or professional pursuit – in whatever field. Philosophy’s relevance is also wide-ranging or even universal when we define it as the most basic or general discipline: the one that poses foundational questions regarding the nature and legitimacy of knowledge itself. Philosophy does seem, however, to have special pertinence for the human sciences, and perhaps especially for the mental-health-related disciplines and professions of psychiatry and clinical psychology. Physics and the biological sciences run up against such problematic issues as the nature of causality, the impact of the observer on the observed, or the essence of life; yet these disciplines seem able to progress quite nicely on their own, with little demand for philosophers or for philosophizing of an explicit sort. Fields like psychiatry and clinical psychology appear, by contrast, to have a more profound need for such input; and indeed, without self-critical philosophical thinking, they often seem to run the risk of degenerating (with little hope of escape) into one or another form of what philosopher of science Imre Lakatos called a “degenerating research program” – whether this take the form of reductionism, rigidification, or mere banality.

How to cite:

Sass, Louis. “Serious Dilettantism: Reflections on an Impossible Profession.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 4, no. 2 (2020):  1-5. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2020.0012.

Author:

Louis Sass
Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, Rutgers University
152 Frelinghuysen Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854-8020, USA
https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2694-0423
lsass@gsapp.rutgers.edu

Open Access Statement:

This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Submitting a text to Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture means that the author agrees with the general conditions of this license. The author does and will maintain copyrights and publishing rights for his/her article without any restrictions.