May 22, 2017
and the new Apple campus in Silicon Valley.
Credit: Getty Images/Wikipedia
Silicon Valley is an ultra-competitive environment that comes up with the most exciting technological advancements of our modern life.
executives are under constant pressure to deliver something new that
will capture and better yet,
What's their latest
greatest brain hack? Philosophy...
Some philosophers are finding Silicon Valley employment teaching "practical philosophy" that you can use in business and everyday life.
Andrew Taggart is one champion of this movement, offering philosophical counseling to tech leaders and anyone in need. The guidance focuses on using reason and logic to unmask illusions about your life or work.
You can try philosophical counseling yourself, if you'd like, as Taggart offers Skype conversations.
Taggart rails against what he sees is the "problematization of the world" - the idea that all the obstacles we encounter during our life, from drinking too much coffee to death, are problems in need of solutions to be discovered.
He thinks that approach can obscure the true understanding of human life.
In an interview with Quartz, he says that rather than ask "How can I be more successful?" it's actually more important to ask,
On the more practical side, Taggert thinks philosophy can also help zero in on what a startup should build and, more generally, he advocates using the philosophical skills of critical inquiry to figure out the "bullshit".
On the other hand, he also thinks that stopping BS is not the chief objective of philosophy.
Rather, he warns against the dangers of "total work" - the all-consuming obsession with having to be productive and spend most of our time working rather than contemplating.
In fact, he thinks the commitment to "total work" allows the market to control too many aspects of our life.
He cites a startup cofounder he interviewed who,
Taggert thinks philosophy can open up this kind of thinking to a less solipsistic view that introduces thought and balance to people's lives.
Outside of Taggart's efforts, philosophy has always had a strong presence in Silicon Valley.
Another philosopher who has made inroads with the tech crowd is Ryan Holiday, a proponent of stoicism, an ancient Greek school of thought that emphasizes limiting negative emotions and self-control to find the true purpose of one's life.
the legendary venture capitalist behind some of Silicon Valley's
biggest successes like Paypal and Facebook, was a philosophy major
at the National Press Club in Washington, DC,
October 31, 2016.
(Photo credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Other Silicon Valley philosopher-execs include,