Modern and Postmodern Thinking


The purpose of this Extra Credit Discussion is twofold: 1) to reflect back, at the end of the course – on the relationship between science and philosophy, and 2) to reflect on this relationship against the contrast between modern and postmodern thinking.


Please read Chapter XV: The Value of Philosophy (Links to an external site.) in Bertrand Russell’s 1912 book The Problems of Philosophy.

After careful reflection, please answer the following questions:

  1. According to Bertrand Russell, what is the relevance of philosophical inquiry? Do you think that the misconceptions he speaks of are still prevalent in today’s society (our selection is the last chapter of Russell’s 1912 book The Problems of Philosophy)? Please make sure to be specific, and carefully explain your reasoning.
  2. According to Russell, what does the enduring value of philosophy consist in? What is the purpose of practicing philosophy? Do Russell’s ideas align with YOUR expectations of what it means to practice philosophy? Please make sure to be specific, and carefully explain your reasoning.

Respond to at least two of your classmates. In order to respond to a classmate, open the classmate’s post and click ‘Reply’. If you agree with your classmate’s view, please provide additional evidence to support his or her view. If you disagree, please provide evidence to the contrary. Please make sure to be specific in your remarks, and carefully explain your reasoning.

You must create your POST before you can reply to your classmates. Therefore, you should create your POST a day or two before the discussion deadline.

Your initial post should be about 200-300 words in length, and your responses to classmates should each be about 100-200 words in length, but feel free to be as detailed as you wish.

Your post and your responses must be written in proper English (correct spelling and grammar, and appropriate style). It is recommended to write your post and responses using a word processing program and copy and paste the completed post and responses. This will avoid losing work in case of internet outage, etc. You are encouraged to comment on your classmate’s feedback to your initial post and keep the (civilized!) discussion going.