Jonathan Wolff is the Alfred Landecker Professor of Values and Public Policy and Governing Body Fellow at Wolfson College, University of Oxford.



In this talk I distinguish between two approaches for attempting to link philosophical thinking with real world problems. The applied philosophy approach starts from a favoured philosophical theory and then attempts to draw lessons for the world. The engaged philosophy approach starts from problems in the world, and draws on philosophical and other resources to attempt to recommend improvements. The paper explains a number of difficulties for the applied approach and sets out in more detail one way of considering real world problems in the engaged mode.