Academic journal article Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies

A Stereotype: The Lack of the Social Utility of Philosophy

Academic journal article Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies

A Stereotype: The Lack of the Social Utility of Philosophy

Article excerpt

The way in which the relations among philosophy, religion and politics have been built and evolved in post-1989-Romania brought about the development of several stereotypes connected to the social inutility of philosophy, to the graduates' difficulty in adapting to the requirements of the labor market, to the lack of importance of philosophy and of philosophical education. The present text signals the crisis of philosophy due to a series of factors such as: the difficulties that the philosophical discourse has in finding a place in the public debate, the negative perception of philosophy in the public mentality, the stereotypes concerning philosophy that the political representatives cultivate, and the lack of a labor market that would adequately value the competences and the expertise of the graduates in Humanities.

Key Words:

social prestige, philosophical education, marketization of philosophy, religion, politics, the Romanian system of education

In Romania, after 1989, the faculties of philosophy, as well as those of theology, have been founded gradually in the traditional university centers first and then in all the places where an initiative for such a program existed1. It was easy to establish a faculty of philosophy because it did not require huge resources or big investments. The human resources in the already existing faculties of philosophy before 1989 started to work in parallel in the new centers where they began to train people that later took over the reins. The demand for entry places was big enough, and the entry exam made quite a good selection. The financial politics promoted by the ministry of education led to a relaxation of the university entry process, later liberalized, a process that affected the quality of the educational process. Moreover, the university centers began to adopt the file-based admission in order to ensure a better financing for the programs that developed by increasing the number of fee places in the public system of education. In parallel, a huge number of private universities have been developed, but only few of them initiated philosophy study programs, preferring instead the programs in law or economics because of benefiting from an apparently inexhaustible demand. The number of philosophy graduates has always overcome the power of their absorption into the educational market. The diminution of the educational offer after the removal of philosophy from the curricula of technological high schools led to crisis in the pre-university system, the main market place for philosophy graduates. This market was left unable to absorb the huge number of new employees and it started to endanger the position of those within the system.

Philosophy lost the privileged place it used to have before 1989 and in the years after, and the reasons are multifold. Adrian-Paul Iliescu states that first of all, the diminution of the presence of philosophy is to be attributed to the failure of the educational administrator to reform philosophical education; second, it was obvious that the philosophical educational system, in its very large distribution prior to 1989, could no longer exist; and third, those responsible for the reform of the philosophical educational system were unable to understand that it needed a new direction, different from traditional philosophy. This is why "by failing to understand this, namely to understand the necessity of a reform of the philosophical educational system towards an applicative direction, they had the impression that reform is not possible and concluded that philosophy can no longer find its place ... simply put, I believe they did not realize or know anything about this sphere of applied philosophy".2

The faculties of theology were also founded by transforming the former theological institutes in faculties that were then included in some state universities. Later on, few bishops could resist the temptation of having their own Faculty of Theology. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.