La philosophie au sommet

MELBOURNE – L’année dernière, une étude de l’université Harvard a déclenché les alarmes, en faisant constater que la proportion aux États-Unis de diplômés des sciences humaines a chuté de 14 % à 7 %. Même de grandes universités comme Harvard ont connu des baisses semblables. Qui plus est, la chute semble devenir plus prononcée ces dernières années. On parle même d’une crise au sein des humanités.

Je ne connais pas assez l’ensemble des humanités pour commenter la cause de ces baisses d’inscription. Bon nombre des disciplines des humanités sont sans doute vues comme des culs-de-sac qui mènent rarement à des carrières prometteuses ou même à une carrière tout court. Peut-être parce qu’il est difficile d’expliquer aux néophytes à quoi servent certaines de ces disciplines et en quoi elles sont importantes. Ou bien, aussi difficile à accepter que ce soit, peut-être n’est-ce pas uniquement une question de communication : peut-être que certaines disciplines des humanités sont également devenues moins pertinentes dans le monde de plus en plus fascinant et effréné dans lequel nous vivons.

J’évoque ces possibilités sans porter jugement sur aucune d’entre elles. Ce que je sais, cependant, c’est que ma propre discipline, la philosophie, par son côté pratique, l’éthique, amène une contribution essentielle aux débats les plus urgents que nous pouvons avoir.

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