The Danger of Collapsing Philosophy Department and Rise of Technology and AI

The article is written by Dr. Kamal Dhakal, and the approval is granted by him to share in this website. We can connect him at LinkedIn Kamal Dhakal, PhD

Nowadays there is less discussion of ideas, arguments, and philosophies in teaching institutions. Due to the compulsion to get a degree just for getting a good job, our education system has been turned into merely a factory of mass-producing another working class of people that we prefer to call doctors, engineers, professors, or scientists whatever we named it. The fancy name makes us feel good, otherwise, there is no significant difference in any profession. We all have less interest in our work and more interest in somebody’s else business. We work for a living and we live for working. In this process, we lost critical thinking, moral values, and other dimensions of life. If we look back at the history of an academic institution, Plato had set up an institution called “Academy” to discuss various aspects of life and existence in general around 400 BCE. The extension of Plato’s “Academy” is the foundation of modern education.

The results of deep logical and philosophical discussion in Plato’s “Academy” are the foundation of our modern-day political ideas and scientific achievements. For example, the idea of ​​an atom made by Democrats around 400 BC was discovered in a laboratory by John Dalton in 1800, almost 1400 years later. It shows how important logical and philosophical discussions are.

Nowadays, I think we are only interested in two things either money or marriage, rest nobody seems caring. Our philosophy, art, and history department are collapsing and shrinking instead we are expanding technology and AI so much so at the end these seem counterproductive to society. Even fundamental science is falling behind, a professor interested in studying purely coulombs interaction somehow has to link or make a connection his research in such a way that his study can cure cancer or solve one of the biggest problems in the world otherwise he might not get funded if he remains only interested in the fundamental science alone. Therefore, there are many branches inside science alone that are not equally flourished. Science instead of inclusive is becoming more and more selective.

A promising postdoc who really loves science and very much enjoy teaching and research is out of the academic field either he/she is not from the so-called ‘big group’ from the ‘big university’ or English is not her/his first language, he/she sometimes puts “a’ instead of “the”. For some professors and grant reviewers’ “articles” are the most important aspect than his apt for science.

Musicians are becoming a doctor, poets becoming engineers, and an artist becoming a dentist. If somebody is good at music and he/she really likes to be musician chances are he/she is running a side business on eBay or Amazon for survival.

I think after this pandemic, other dimensions of life such as music, spiritualism philosophy, art became more important than ever before. We like to soothe ourselves every 5 minutes either by reading inspirational quotes or reading a spiritual book because we feel so insecure and lonely. We constantly need to listen to good music, a good movie, set meaning in life. Yet, when it comes to our kids, we don’t like him wasting time playing piano or watching movies, reading novels, we like them good at math and science so that they will become good doctors or good engineers so that he would earn a lot of money in future. If you believe in capitalism, and I am sure you will if are living in the united states, money is a conserved quantity. It means if our kid would like to earn a lot of money, somebody's kids would have to lose an equal amount of money.

Every country is cutting funding even for fundamental science and virtually there is no funding for philosophy, history, art, and music. Instead, they are spending huge amounts of money on technology and defense, thinking the country will be safer and richer. In fact, it's the happing opposite, the more weapons they have the less secure they feel, therefore they make furthermore weapon.

Due to a lack of moral values, critical thinking, and knowledge of other dimensions of life, we are becoming like a bamboo tree that likes to grow higher than other plants but bends down towards the ground due to a lack of branches or deep roots that for supports in difficulties. The result is like this 86-year-old man Felix Cabrera who shoots his own boss because of firing or similar many other shootings where the main motive is nothing but impulsive anger, hate, or revenge at the workplace that he/she couldn’t control for the moment. If these people were taught Buddha’s nonviolence, compassion, or Christ’s Love from the early school, I bet they would think twice before killing somebody else.

On the other hand, due to a lack of critical thinking, we are mass-producing a crowd of people who are blatantly propagating or believing in false and baseless ideologies or agendas and don’t like to change their opinions and views when facts or evidence suggest so. If we had learned critical thinking such as John Dewey’s idea of consideration of a belief or supposed form of knowledge in high school, I think we could have a better society today.

Opinions expressed here are solely my own and do not represent the views or opinions of my employer.

The article was written by Dr. Kamal Dhakal at The approval is granted by the author to publish in this website. 

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