Victor Hardy explains basics of contemporary philosophy

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Award-winning artist Victor Hardy, from Austin, Texas, explains the basics of the present period in the history of philosophy.


Having recently spoken at length about his passion for philosophy, and sharing a number of his favorite quotes from famous philosophers, Victor Hardy, an award-winning artist from Austin, Texas, turns his focus to the basics of the present period in the history of the millennia-old field of study.


Contemporary philosophy follows early-modern and late-modern philosophy – philosophy developed in what Hardy calls the modern era, and associated with modernity. “The 17th century roughly marks the beginning of modern philosophy, while the early 20th century marks the end,” he explains. 


Accordingly, contemporary philosophy most widely refers to the period of philosophy beginning in the early 20th century and continuing to the present day, according to Victor Hardy. “This period, in particular,” adds the artist and philosophy expert, “marks the increasing professionalization of the discipline.” 


The same period, Hardy goes on to reveal, also coincides with the rise of what’s known as analytic and continental philosophy. “Quite often, and, quite understandably, often confused with modern philosophy and postmodern philosophy, contemporary philosophy must not, however,” he adds, “be confused with the non-technical use of phrasing referring to recent philosophic works.”


Victor Hardy is keen to highlight the increasing professionalization of philosophy witnessed in the current period of the discipline, first marked, he says, to a large degree, by the initial formation of the Western Philosophical Association. “Following its formation, the Western Philosophical Association and aspects of the American Psychological Association soon merged,” Hardy explains, “to form the American Philosophical Association.”


Founded in 1900, the American Philosophical Association remains the primary professional organization for philosophers in the United States. “The American Philosophical Association’s mission,” Hardy reveals, “is to represent philosophy as a discipline, to promote the exchange of ideas among philosophers, to facilitate the professional work and teaching of philosophers, and to encourage creative and scholarly activity in philosophy.”


The association is also responsible for administering many of the philosophy profession’s top honors, including one of the oldest prizes in philosophy, the American Philosophical Association Book Prize, according to Victor Hardy. 


A recent survey of today’s professional philosophers asked them to rank prominent professional journals in contemporary philosophy. “In first place was Philosophical Review, while Mind, the quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal published on behalf of the Mind Association, came second,” adds Hardy, wrapping up, “with Nous in third, the Journal of Philosophy in fourth, and, in fifth, Philosophy & Phenomenological Research.”