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November 16, 2021 2 min read

Street vs. Academic Philosophy


There are YouTube accounts about philosophy with several million followers. They reach more people with content than any philosophy professor, even of the most prestigious university. The "street philosophy" focuses primarily on questions that also interest the layman and prepare them (as far as possible) understandable and above all in an appealing way. All of this is available for free (as long as you use an ad blocker) and available anytime, anywhere. It is, on the whole, a radical transformation when knowledge is made truly available, that is, technically and didactically. Even the attempt of the Enlightenment to produce an encyclopedia of knowledge is overshadowed by this technical "cultural revolution". I think we still massively underestimate the impact of everything that happens on the Internet.

One could now cynically ask: why pay for an expensive diploma? To learn a supervised canon that is adapted far too seldom and does not include certain things on the curriculum at all out of self-protection? An education that limits thinking and does not illuminate the sheer infinite possibilities of cognitive activity?

There is no denying, and I have personally experienced this, that a diploma is a door opener on the job market. Otherwise, however, not much more.It is a classic instrument that, in the face of the educational resources that are actually freely available, primarily serves to maintain the classes as they are. In terms of content, a diploma in philosophy proves at most that one is capable of organizing a course of study and expressing oneself halfway satisfactorily. I would like to note here, however, that I am referring to the university study of philosophy. Things may be different when we think of the study of medicine or engineering. However, I don't like to talk about things I don't know very much about.

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