In this article, journalist Sally Percy speaks to Prof. Christian Voegtlin from the Audiencia Business School in France, to understand why companies are hiring more in-house philosophers. This is how the interview starts:
Sally Percy: What are in-house philosophers and why are people starting to talk about them?
Professor Christian Voegtlin: Some Silicon Valley-based companies, including search engine giant Google, have started to employ in-house philosophers. Others, among them the instant-messaging and telecommunications company Skype, use the service of philosophical counselors such as Andrew Taggart to engage teams of managers with philosophical questions related to their daily business. These practical philosophers are gradually entering the business world, where local executives employ them as de facto “chief philosophy officers” (CPOs). The job role appears to be a mixture of consultant, life coach and strategist. CPOs are responsible for helping the CEO or the business to tackle fundamental questions such as “What is a good and virtuous life?”, “How can I be a good boss?” and “What should the purpose of my business be?”
Silicon Valley’s interest in philosophy can be traced back to the Symbolic Systems program, or ‘Symsys’, which was launched in 1986 by Stanford University. The program was designed to train the next generation of technology leaders. It analyzed the communication between computers and humans through neuroscience, contemporary philosophers, psychology and logic. Marissa Mayer, former CEO of Yahoo, Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, and Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram, are alumni of this course.
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Why Philosophers Are Gradually Entering the Business World
August 31, 2021 | 0 Comments