What philosophers think, talk about, and write about has little direct influence on political decisions in our society. The indirect influence, particularly on higher court decisions and debates in the media, cannot be underestimated. But there are very few cases in our society in which a person professionally engaged in philosophy makes decisions based on the philosophical content that is binding on others.
This is likely to appear in ethics committees, which have to decide what is and is not allowed in medicine. Several full-time medical ethicists can be found in it. However, more often than not, they have not studied (or have not only studied) philosophy, but are primarily medical professionals.
One may now ask: Is our society, would our world be better if philosophers had more power? What are the pros and cons?
The big names in European philosophy did not cover themselves with fame in public statements.
This supports the idea that goes back to antiquity, that philosophers are those who sit at the top of the pyramid of knowledge and have the best overview of what is real, good, and beautiful. From this perspective, they are ideally suited to help ensure that the state is guided by reason. Unlike chemists, historians, or mycologists, one can expect them—whose task is to think about what it actually means to think—to make generally well-researched decisions not shaped by misconceptions about the topic. If so, perhaps they should have more power than members of other disciplines. We have just seen it during a pandemic: one can in no way expect that processes of public opinion formation and democratic actions inevitably lead to good decisions.
“Alcohol buff. Troublemaker. Introvert. Student. Social media lover. Web ninja. Bacon fan. Reader.”