I had a professor who I found quite worthless except his explanation of philosophy as:
an attempt to reduce the flux of the world to arrive at unchanging truth
The class was centered around seeing trends throughout the history of philosophy in order to make guesses at a central truth. The professor was very religious and, as such, believed that there does exist a discernible truth behind all of the distractions that we see in the world.
This sounds like an over-simplification of the goal of philosophy, and it seems that modern philosophy has ignored this goal and some schools of thought seem more like ideologies than approaches to thought.
So, my question is: What is the current goal of philosophy? Or rather, What do philosophers hope to achieve in their study?
Note that I'm not attempting to bash the study of philosophy here. I'm simply wondering what the generally-accepted aim of contemporary philosophy is. Do most philosophers really hope to reduce chaos into understanding altruistically, or does the motivation generally stem from fulfillment in the discussion and pursuit of knowledge?