02 学問の意義(有用性)(20190612)

(6月12日にupしたつもりでしたが、されていなかったので、upします。)

学問の有用性とは何だろうか?

第一に、それは学問が何かの目的を実現するのに役立つということである。

自然科学は、例えばより便利な道具を作るという目的に役立つ。医学は、例えば病気を治すという目的に役立つ。経済学は、経済活動の予見やコントロールという目的に役立つ。法学は、法制度の研究とそれに基づく改訂を通して、公正な社会の実現という目的に役立つ。歴史学は、現在の社会の成立過程の研究を通して、未来社会の予見とコントロールに役立つ。芸術研究は、芸術の歴史研究をつうじて、未来の芸術の創造とコントロールに役立つ。哲学は、これらの諸学問の基礎的な概念の分析や方法を分析して、諸学問の改訂や正当化に役立つだろう。

 多くの場合、目的はより上位の目的をもつ。哲学がこれらの諸学問の目的に役立つとするとき、諸学問の目的はさらにより上位の目的を持つだろう。自然科学が、たとえば便利な道具を作るという目的をもつとき、便利な道具をつくることは、生活をより快適にするというより上位の目的を持つだろう。生活をより快適するというその目的はさらにより上位の目的をもつだろう。

学問を有用なものとするこれらの目的のより上位位の目的を遡っていけば、何に行き着くのだろうか。おそらくは、社会が存続する目的、人間が生きる目的、人類が存在する目的などに行き着くだろう。では、社会や人間や人類は、何のために存在するのだろうか。学問もまた、究極的にはこの目的のために有用なのである。

 「社会や人間や人類は、何のために存在するのだろうか」というこの問いは哲学的な問いである。なぜなら、この問いは、学問の有用性を考えるときに普通に考える問いより深く広い問いだからである。従って、この問いに答えることは、哲学の仕事である。

この問いに答えることもまた、有用性をもつだろう。たとえば「社会が存続する目的は何か」に答えられたならば、その答えは社会の存続に役立つだろう。「人間が生きる目的は何か」に答えられたならば、その答えは人間が生きることに役立つだろう。「人類が存在する目的は何か」に答えられたならば、その答えは人類の存在に役立つだろう。なぜなら、これらの目的がわからなければ、社会の存続や、人間が生きることや、人類が存在することのための活動の意味や動機が失われるからである。

しかしこの有用性は、ある目的の実現に役立つという通常の意味の有用性とは異なっている。この有用性は、社会や人間や人類の活動や存在を理解し正当化するに役立つという有用性である。目的の実現に役立つという有用性ではなく、目的を理解し、目的の実現を正当化するのに役立つという有用性である。

学問には、このような意味の有用性もある。次にこの第二の意味の有用性について考えよう。

投稿者:

irieyukio

問答の哲学研究、ドイツ観念論研究、を専門にしています。 2019年3月に大阪大学を定年退職し、現在は名誉教授です。 香川県丸亀市生まれ、奈良市在住。

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