2023-02Discussion Papers, Comments, Book Reviews
Toward a Philosophy of Urbanism


/Adam Chmielewski interviewed by Eli Kramer /

AC: In the nineteenth century, some people thought that the sciences should free themselves from the philosophical speculations from which they originated, and that philosophy itself, as obsolete, should be replaced by strict science. Gradually, however, the strict and uncontestable sciences resorted back again to the allegedly obsolete philosophy to understand what they are, what they are actually doing, and why. In other words, not only did science not replace philosophy but returned to it. That is why there emerged the philosophy of science and philosophies of individual sciences, e.g. mathematics, biology, etc. This applies also to urban studies pursued by a great number of specialized disciplines, but a need for a general, philosophical view of the nature of the city is increasingly felt by many people, urban specialists included.
The role of philosophy in today’s urban studies cannot mirror the ancient one, which was much more foundational, as in Protagoras, Plato, Aristotle, or Zeno. But it does resemble it. A philosopher cannot pretend to be an architect, urbanist, or city planner. But he or she is particularly qualified to address the problems of how contemporary cities allow their inhabitants to satisfy their needs and ambitions; in other words, to what extent the city is an environment in which human life may flourish. Such questions may profitably be addressed by moral and political philosophy, as well as philosophical anthropology.

How to cite:

Chmielewski, Adam. “Toward a Philosophy of Urbanism.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 7, no. 2 (2023):  111-114. https://doi.org/10.14394/eidos.jpc.2023.0019.


Adam Chmielewski
Institute of Philosophy, University of Wrocław
ul. Koszarowa 3/20, 51-149 Wrocław, Poland

Eli Kramer (Interviewer)
Institute of Philosophy, University of Wrocław
ul. Koszarowa 3/20, 51-149 Wrocław, Poland

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