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Philosophy, the “unknown knowns,” and the public use of reason


There are not only true or false solutions, there are also false questions. The task of philosophy is not to provide answers or solutions, but to submit to critical analysis the questions themselves, to make us see how the very way we perceive a problem is an obstacle to its solution. This holds especially for today’s public debates on ecological threats, on lack of faith, on democracy and the “war on terror”, in which the “unknown knowns”, the silent presuppositions we are not aware of, determine our acts.

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Correspondence to Slavoj Žižek.

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Žižek, S. Philosophy, the “unknown knowns,” and the public use of reason. Topoi 25, 137–142 (2006).

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  • philosophy
  • unconscious
  • ideology
  • truth
  • paranoia
  • reason