Social Philosophy

  • Mario Bunge
Part of the Treatise on Basic Philosophy book series (TOBP, volume 8)


We are judged by what we do, but we act according to our beliefs, values and norms — or those of our masters. When we render our social beliefs, values and norms explicit, and organize them into a coherent system, we obtain a social philosophy or ideology. A social philosophy will be sound or unsound, depending on whether or not it is based on science and technology, as well as on a science-oriented ontology, epistemology, axiology, and ethics. And it will be good or bad, depending on whether it enhances or jeopardizes everyone’s chance to enjoy life and to help others live. Hence we should not underestimate the power of social philosophy: it can save or destroy us. True, most policy and decision makers do not read philosophers unless they are bad or dead. Still, every social policy has an underlying social philosophy. Hence it behooves social philosophers to watch the political process and to attempt to influence it in the right direction, instead of playing game-theoretic games.


Public Good Social Justice Social Reform Social Philosophy Business Corporation 
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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

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  • Mario Bunge

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