Design and Philosophy

This short article is a revised publication of my Twitter thread.

  1. By studying philosophy, you train yourself in constructing rational, sound arguments that help you in decision making and convincing stakeholders. It develops your critical thinking, and this matters a lot.
  2. A study into moral/ethical philosophy prepares you for making decisions in today’s environment of evolving technology, social, and geopolitical concerns. Morality cannot be crowdsourced, but it can be understood in better ways through philosophy.
  3. I would go out on a limb and say that even metaphysics matters, especially ontology of events and causality. It can help you better understand and also mitigate unintended consequences.
  4. Epistemology can help you in better research, especially for answering questions related to transferability.
  5. I’m not saying to deep dive into Kantian studies or various “isms” of philosophy. But an understanding of philosophical arguments and methods can help you become a better designer.
  6. So, should designers now also formally study philosophy along with coding, business, and everything else? No. The point is to get better tools and not a canon to do your work. Get acquainted with philosophy, study deeply if you like it. Augment not enforce.