By Paul Smart
Are there new philosophers out there reaching to move our thought forward in gestalt-changing ways to match the political wake-up calls inherent in the recent rise of Democratic Socialism as a counter to the Far Right’s still-simmering anger?
To answer, I started re-reading the late Robert Pirsig this summer, and not only his justly-famous Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (1972), but his follow-up work from 1991, Lila: An Inquiry into Morals, which starts at a bar down on Kingston’s Rondout waterfront as it explores the ideal of Quality as a key to all philosophic thought, including that involving values and economics. The result, now, is as challenging as both books were when first released, though more inspiring than ever given the paucity of effort elsewhere.
Moreover, I’ve realized again what an important film Wim Wenders’ recent Pope Francis: A Man of His Word is, especially in its understated way with economics and politics.
In other words, there is still hope as we await the next big work that can move us forward from recent economics thought to something deeper and more philosophically able to move us all forward as humanity.