In Response to: Notes On a Crisis

In your article, you reduce the crisis of humanities to a PR problem (“Notes on a Crisis,” feature, July 9). I couldn’t disagree more. 

Not a humanities scholar myself, rather a scientist with many years of interest in philosophy and religion, I would venture to say that humanities and philosophy have not contributed anything of value for the last hundred years. One could say these fields of human endeavor have rather been administered, but not been creative with any major new ideas. My argument goes like this:

The last major contribution to a worldwide social and moral impact from philosophy came from the Vienna Circle of neo-positivists about 1930. Their contribution, disregarding all the major contributions of these great men and only regarding ethical values, could be summarized in the words of Victor Kraft as follows: The norms of morality are derived from the aims of all people to satisfy their carnal desires.

After 1938 and Hitler’s usurpation of Austria, these people were dispersed all over the world and their ideas with them. From then on and with the rise of capitalism and the natural sciences, these values still dominate worldwide. 

The humanities including philosophy not only are in a crisis, but they have become almost obsolete with respect to the paradigms of a larger part of humanity. Religious ideas have taken over and will do so in the future. New religious paradigms will determine the future of humanity.

Franz Moser ’51