Bryan W. Van Norden

B.W. Van Norden is a professor in the Philosophy Department, and regularly teaches in the Department of Chinese and Japanese, at Vassar College.  


December 5, 2017

Philosophy has been a favorite whipping boy in the culture wars since 399 BCE, when an Athenian jury sentenced Socrates to death. However, philosophers nowadays are seldom accused of “corrupting the youth.” Instead, a surprisingly wide range of pundits—from celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson (majoring in philosophy “can really mess you up”) to Senator Marco Rubio (“Welders make more money than philosophers. We need more welders and less philosophers”)—assert that philosophy is pointless or impractical.