a1 University of Guelph
Philosophy, and especially metaphysics, today enjoys less respect and influence than at any time in the last 800 years, since Aristotle was rediscovered by the Medievals. Philosophy once was the realm of the controversies and upheavals that determine man's perspectives and attitudes; today that realm is the sciences and arts. Once “the queen of the sciences”, philosophy is rapidly becoming their handmaiden or stepchild. The very relevance of philosophy for life is seriously being questioned in many quarters. Today's “empiricists” are decreasingly concerned with philosophy in the traditional sense, and increasingly concerned rather with the methodology of certain disciplines, such as science, logic, grammar, etc.—if not with the outright destruction of philosophy itself. And even the speculative metaphysicians of today seem to find literature more conducive than philosophy to the quest and expression of their ideas. Sartre expresses himself philosophically in plays and novels and Heidegger's works become increasingly poetic; he has expressly called philosophy the “bad danger” to thought, as opposed to poetry, the “good danger”.