Reconstructing professional philosophy: Lessons from philosophy as a way of life during a time of crises

Eli Kramer, Marta Faustino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article reflects on the way the Covid-19 hecatomb has disclosed and unraveled the ongoing crisis of professional philosophy, and suggests some lessons that might be taken from the pandemic, urging academic philosophers to take action regarding the future of their work in philosophy departments and institutions. In the first section of the article, we highlight some lasting criticisms to academic philosophy and explore one particular nasty thorn in the side of philosophers doing the kind of work that might speak to broad audiences facing a crisis of meaning and living: the rush to publish instead of “perishing” without a secure academic position. In the next section, we discuss philosophy as a way of life (PWL) as an alternative nascent field in academic philosophy that, while garnering respect and recognition within the academy, has regained connections with a broader public desperate for ways to chart their own paths of meaningful living, especially when facing a deeply challenged and fractured world. PWL helps address the crises of meaning many in the academy face (both teachers and students) and the absence of rich philosophical reflection and communities in the broader public, which otherwise all too easily fall prey to hucksters, con-artists, and authoritarian and conspiratorial forces. We argue that this kind of wholistic critical development of PWL from the ancient world is designed to enact a prefigurative or eutopian politics. We conclude by situating our recommendations into a broader reconstruction of professional philosophy needed at this critical cultural moment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-546
Number of pages34
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Filosofia
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Academic professionalism
  • Covid-19
  • Metaphilosophy
  • Modern stoicism
  • Philosophy as a way of life
  • The meaning crisis


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