Is philosophy dead? Some philosophers have declared it to be so, and judging by some of the mental acrobatics now fashionable in postmodernist circles a reasonable person might have to agree. Though recognizing the moribund state of current academic philosophy, Mario Bunge feels that this is a crisis from which the discipline can and will recover. To overcome the impasse Bunge argues that it is necessary to reconstruct philosophy by building a philosophical system that addresses real-world problems of everyday people in a clear, comprehensible fashion. The new system must be exact and compatible with contemporary science and technology. Above all, it should shun purely academic problems.
This book offers glimpses of such a system while avoiding technical jargon unfamiliar to the lay reader. It is thus accessible to the average educated reader interested in such perennial philosophical concerns as What is matter?, What is mind?, What is the nature of society?, Are there limits to our knowledge?, What are the criteria for distinguishing genuine science from pseudoscience?, and How should human rights be balanced with moral obligations? These questions will always be of interest to thinking human beings, says Bunge, and philosophy, rather than becoming a fruitless, self-referential academic game, should be the main intellectual tool for exploring and clarifying such all important issues.