At a recent Google Zeitgeist conference, Stephen Hawking boldly pronounced that "philosophy is dead".
It is dead, he thinks, because philosophy is passé. Hawking believes philosophy is like a guy who shows up at a cocktail party just after the guests have left. Why would one of the most intelligent humans alive say such a provocative thing? His reasons are obvious: "Philosophers," Hawking says, "have not kept up with modern developments in science. Particularly physics."