Any reasonable person would agree that the significance of the decline of philosophy or any announcement that philosophy is dead is referring to the fact that for quite a long time philosophy as a profession has failed to play the role of directional leadership as it is supposed to be. Or we might say that people are disappointed of professional philosophy for its failure to catch up with human cultural development in political and economic as well as scientific and technological fields in the past couple of centuries. No one would reasonably deny the importance of teaching young generations in school about the history of philosophical development and how to live with the help of wisdom shared by philosophers in the past; no one would reasonably deny the importance of philosophizing even for scientists in their own researches especially those avant-garde studies in physics; no one would reasonably deny the meaningful hard work that professional philosophers have been doing in some specific areas of philosophy (e.g. humanity and philosophy of mind,,,,, , philosophy of justice, philosophy of language, and so on); no one would even reasonably deny the fact that some philosophical movements at different times and different parts of the world did cause some radical changes of political status of mankind on this globe. The problem is that when all political illusions caused by some false philosophies or short-lived philosophical inspirations faded away, people found that they have not been offered by the profession of philosophy with true insight of life and long-lasting wisdom for their daily social political and economical struggles, for new scientific challenges, for a better understanding of new interpersonal relationship and human-machine relationship, or for a heads up of where our civilization would be heading towards. They have been disappointed by the performance of philosophers in those respects especially after we entered the 21st century. Or we might say that while main stream philosophers are focusing their researches on some detailed knowledge that has not been covered by any independent science, this world is desperately in need of being charged with new wisdom for various big issues and for the direction of where our civilization should move towards in this new millennium.
Since the turn of the 20th century, human civilization has been in a historical stage that bears its own cultural mark and termed as postmodernity. While compared to all its preceding cultural stages including what was once called modernity, this postmodern historical stage could be characterized by revolutions and diversity in many cultural aspects including science and technology, art, and politico-economic changes, and the correspondent global life style and interpersonal relationship changes. It first started with some radical changes in natural science when people were told that space and time was no longer independent with each other and matter could exist in both particle and wave forms at the same time. Then the world experienced some brutal wars and global political turmoil and turnaround (for good or bad) which challenged and changed many traditional views of value. Then artists followed up with their rebellion styles against traditional sense of beauty when expressing their inner feelings about the world that was no longer as what had been told by ancestors. That was followed by new technological breakthroughs and the correspondent industrial revolutions which brought the world into a so called high-tech era with new types of interpersonal relationship that were not familiar to this world.
However, the collective reaction of philosophers, as the supposed professional thinkers, to these radical global changes could be characterized as confused and downtempo although they have been very busy to catch up. Actually most philosophers seem to be busier with commenting existing philosophy theories and formalizing their descriptions with various ism’s than producing new thoughts. While the formalization of how to introduce historical works could make it easier for the education of philosophy, which is no doubt one of the most important tasks for philosophy as a profession, it could also be very misleading without the lead of a continuation of productive thinking; one typical example is the erroneous attack on metaphysics started by professional philosophical circle.
The division of styles of philosophy into the so called continental and analytic by different natural language backgrounds or the so called different traditions without mentioning some further connections to previous works could also be confusing to young readers. While readers might learn some historical stories by looking into the historical path of this division, they don’t really gain much for learning different ways of expressing ideas in philosophy. Actually if you carefully compare the style of Bertrand Russell with the styles of Aristotle, Kant or even Hegel you won’t see any fundamental difference in their analytical styles. Therefore, if we are more interested in training young generations for creative philosophical thinking and writing, instead of solely making them in awe of the sophistication of precedent achievements, we might be better off telling young readers different styles of philosophical theories by directly focusing on writing styles instead of by different natural language backgrounds or some more eccentric names for something unfamiliar to most readers. For example, while Nietzsche might be considered very analytical in his philosophical discourses, if we compare his works with Kant’s (or Aristotle’s or Hegel’s or Russell’s) then we might properly that say Nietzsche’s works is more descriptive and Kant’s (or Aristotle’s or Hegel’s or Russell’s) is more analytical although both of them are very insightful. In fact, any analytical work would be built with descriptive work since any reason of analysis applied in an article would be descriptive itself, but would go deeper behind the surface phenomena for reasons or patterns of reason or basic concepts than relatively more descriptive works. But if we compare the works of Nietzsche’s (or Kant’s or Aristotle’s or Hegel’s or Russell’s) with the works of Camus’s or most of Sartre’s, then we might feel the contrast between analytical (no matter how descriptive it is) and literarily expressive. Actually if we compare philosophical writing with scientific and literature writing, then we could see that some philosophy works might be closer to scientific writings and some others might be closer to literature writings. This is a manifestation of what I discussed earlier that philosophy is interested in all relations behind all being(s) or we might say that it is a manifestation of the great diversity of the subject matters of philosophical investigation. In the comparison between the works of Nietzsche’s (or Kant’s or Aristotle’s or Hegel’s or Russell’s) and the work of Camus’ or Sartre’s, we could sense that the former is closer to scientific writings and the latter is closer to literature writings. If we present the comparison of different styles of philosophy in terms of different styles of writing instead of the use of different natural languages of writing or some tag names with complicated historical imprints, then it would be easier for readers to capture the real differences between different authors, which will assist them better appreciate the works and learn the approaches of those authors.
In addition to the dynamic reasons discussed previously, one important reason why the professional philosophy community seems more interested in the presentations of historical works of philosophy, instead of new thoughts about new reality, is the great difficulty to capture the dynamics behind this ever complicated world and then present them with clear descriptive language or analytical language. This lack of capacity to provide metaphysical descriptions with clear and analytical language resulted in a sad phenomenon that in the postmodern times people learn the contemporary philosophy more from life itself or its correspondent cultural manifestations in different forms than from writings of professional philosophers. Even for philosophers, very often they choose literary language instead of descriptive or analytical language to express their perception about the world, which has been reflected in the fact that the Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to two philosophers (Camus and Sartre) primarily for their existentialist novel writing.
Existentialism once was the most influential philosophical movement in the postmodern times and is still a well known school (let’s borrow the term of school here even though it might be very controversial for existentialism) of philosophy. Its central claim is as Sartre  laid it out that existence precedes essence. The existence that is of the central interest to existentialists is referred to the status of intelligent human being who acts on his own will. The line of logic for this claim could be traced back to the famous Cartesian statement “Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am)”. While for Descartes the significance of that statement was just a logically rigorous sentence free of any illusion caused by human sensation, which could thus be used as the starting point of his philosophical meditation, it has been widely interpreted as that human mind precedes human physical conditions, partly because of the dualist belief of Descartes. Hegel further developed that idea into that the significance of human life primarily lies in human mind instead of human body as he pointed out that we are in the possession of our thought which permeate all our ideas −− whether these are purely theoretical or contain a matter belonging to feeling, impulse, will. Basically following such a theoretical line of thought that human beings are primarily intelligent beings and secondarily physical or social beings, existentialists, theist or atheist, all stand for the idea that each individual is solely responsible for giving meaning to life and living it passionately and sincerely, or authentically. However, while the statements of Descartes and Hegel are logically sound, the existentialist generalization of the same idea to a universal principle of life is logically defective since in an open society people are all interconnecting with each other not only physically and emotionally but also logically. Therefore, the so called meaning of life or real social and physical status of any single individual cannot be solely determined by his/her will no matter what angle of view he/she would like to take when looking at it. Consequently, as a social experiment to build a philosophical foundation for human civilization as a replacement of traditional or religious values, existentialism obviously failed to bring real long lasting vitality to the development of philosophy. Existentialism soon lost its momentum and popularity since its manmade foundation is logically partial and lack of a thorough examination of real human nature (existentialists might even refute the concept of human nature) and social dynamic relationships.
Some politically biased philosophies did cause the world's political landscape to change dramatically in last century, but they also failed to lead the development of philosophy itself despite their proponents claimed so. Although philosophical discussions on political and ethical issues (e.g. philosophy of justice) have always been ongoing, the current global crises and turbulences tell us that those discussions by professional philosophers in this particular area obviously have not created decisive impact on the politico-economic life around the world. One observable deficiency in the discussion in this area is that the discussion is still focusing on applying locally ideal logic to macroscopic issues without delving into the dynamic details of interpersonal systems. Knowledge about the importance of language for thinking especially philosophical thinking is also one important part of Western philosophy of last century; although the quest in this area is still open and could continue to be an important philosophical issue in the coming years it might not play a leading role for the development of philosophy in the near future. Closely related to this is philosophy of mind, which would continue to develop independently of but with the help of psychology. Currently we have not seen any revolutionary breakthrough in this area either. People are still struggling with issues like the significance of quale. Discussions about the relationship between the phenomenological knowledge between different people has not surpassed the theory of correlation between private worlds (or perspectives) of Russell.
Postmodern philosophies are generally considered as relativistic for they all bear some relativistic marks here or there. However, the relativistic nature of postmodern way of thinking of the public is not entailed by postmodern philosophies as people often claimed, contrarily, the relativistic views in postmodern philosophies are rather the delayed reflection of the relativistic nature of postmodern reality all around the world. First of all, the relativistic behavior of nature revealed to us by scientists has undoubtedly and profoundly influenced postmodern philosophers’ way of thinking. More importantly our scientific knowledge about nature which would be considered as the most creditable has been under constant modification and update by scientists, which has been repeatedly reminding us of the relative nature of our knowledge system due to our limited capacity to know things. Besides, revolutionary changes of the political status or political movements in many places around the world subverted the traditional concept of authority in the society. Similarly, in academic society and in schools around the world scholars or students more tend to doubt authoritative theories than ever in the history due to the general awareness of the vulnerability of the academic authority to mistakes. Furthermore, technological breakthroughs, especially the arrival of the high-tech and big data era, created the new life styles and interpersonal relationships that had never been witnessed before. Meanwhile extensive international migrations or tourism and intercultural communications and exchanges helped to broaden the vision and open the mind of people towards life styles and social norms; the commercial and industrial globalization helped to further shaken monotonous traditional social standards in different areas around the world by bringing different cultural values closer.
All these radical social cultural and politico-economic changes without any precedent similarity in the history have burned their imprints on philosophical theories that have been created during the period of postmodernity. In addition, during the postmodern times, it has become a common knowledge in popular culture that there is no absolute mapping between any natural language and reality and it is the relational patterns within the structure of signs that produce the meaning of any part of our language. The awareness of this simple basic nature of language actually has a very profound effect on human philosophical thinking due to the fundamental importance in our everyday life. Back to 200 years ago, the claim that “our representation of things as they are given to us doesn’t conform to these things as they are in themselves, but rather that these objects as appearances conform to our way of representing them… things as we experience them should be distinguished from things as they are in themselves” by Kant, together with his famous use of the German term noumenon, spawned the course of systematic studying the so called phenomenology first started by Hegel and then continued by others in the following centuries after them. The peak of that venture seemed to be reached by Russell with his speculation about the correlation of private worlds as mentioned earlier. It seems that only after human civilization entered the postmodern times, with the help of modern psychology, the significance of the difference between what we see and what it is in itself started to be fully appreciated by both the academia and the public. This appreciation together with the awareness of the independence of language from its objects in real world undoubtedly endorses the relativistic way of thinking among the public, which is then naturally reflected with enhancements in various cultural forms including philosophy theories.
The downtempo reaction to the radical cultural changes in postmodern times by professional philosophical community is also the main reason for renowned philosopher and scientist to announce the end of philosophy,. Finally, perhaps ironically, when the development of mainstream philosophy is virtually stalling, it is found that people are still far behind a fully understanding of many classic works of philosophy written in human history, which would also be one of the issues that need attention by philosophers in the future. If we compare the radical changes in all aspects of our civilization in the postmodern times, what has happened in the field of professional philosophy could be analogized to a mild ripple in a small pond……
 The Virtue of Selfness, Ayn Rand, 1964, Penguin USA
 History of madness, Michel Foucault, ed. by Jean Khalfa, trans. by Jonathan Murphy and Jean Khalfa, 2006, Routledge, URL: http://www.elimeyerhoff.com/books/Foucault/history_of_madness_foucault.pdf
 The Myth of Sisyphus, by Albert Camus, tran. by Justin O'Brien. 1955 Alfred A. Knopf, Inc URL: https://toleratedindividuality.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/the-myth-of-sisyphus.pdf
 The Mystery of Conciousness, John R Searle, 1997, NYREV Inc. URL: http://www.fis.cinvestav.mx/~lmontano/tempo/John_Searle-The_Mystery_of_Consciousness.pdf
 Existentialism Is a Humanism, by Jean-Paul Sartre, Lecture given in 1946, URL: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/sartre/works/exist/sartre.htm
 Time and Free Will, by Henri Bergson, 1910, Riverside Press, URL: http://intersci.ss.uci.edu/wiki/eBooks/BOOKS/Bergson/Time%20and%20Free%20Will%20Bergson.pdf
 A Theory of Justice, John Rawls, 1971, Belknap Press
 Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein, trans. G. E. M. Anscombe, 1958, Basil Blackwell.
 Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting one’s Reason and Seeking
Truth in the Sciences, by René Descartes, trans. Jonathan Bennett, URL: http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/descartes1637.pdf
 Science of Logic, by G Hegel , 1816, URL: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/hl/hlprefac.htm, § 2
 Our Knowledge of the External World as a Field for Scientific Method in Philosophy, by Bertrand Russell, 1922, George Allen & Unwin Ltd
 Critique of Pure Reason, by I Kant, 1787 URL: http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/kant1781part1.pdf
 Phenomenology of Mind, Hegel, 1807 URL: https://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/ph/phconten.htm
 The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking, by M Heidegger, 1969 URL：http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/heidegger8a.htm
 The Grand Design: New Answers to the Ultimate Questions of Life，by S Hawking and L Mlodinow,2010, London: Bantam Press, 2010