Do we still have philosophers?
Sorry I haven’t kept up on posting the blog like I should; I’ve seen formulas for how often a blogger should send something to the people who have subscribed. No matter whose computations you’re using, I have failed miserably. I can throw out all kinds of great and well-thought-out excuses (big changes at work, household projects, being involved with our kids’ various activities and sports, even a brief encounter with a three headed demon that we accidentally unleashed from an enchanted cell while digging in our backyard. That took a whole weekend to straighten out, by the way.)
That being said, I had a thought the other day. Well, two thoughts. First, I needed to buy more yogurt. Second, I wanted to pick up a new philosopher/interesting person to read. I’ve made my way through Nietzsche and I’ll be damned if he wasn’t an interesting fellow. Love him, hate him, or think he was bat-turds crazy, you couldn’t read his works without examining your own life and decisions. And really, isn’t that what a philosopher’s job is? You don’t have to agree with them, but if you sit back and think about your own path I figure they did their job.
I had settled on Yeats. I know a few lines and I decided to look around the library when I was struck by the thought that the typical philosopher we picture in our heads is probably dead. Philosophy and philology used to be high powered, tenured, revered posts at universities across the globe. Once a guy made his name, he got on staff and spent the rest of his life flinging insightful barbs out at the rest of us and maybe doing the occasional speaking tour. Maybe he’d challenge another thinker to philosophize or something in a smoky back room bar or something really interesting.
It didn’t seem to me like we have those types of people any more. I was about to be sad (because I get sentimental about the weirdest things. I still feel sorry for the poor dusty fax machine under my desk), but then I thought that maybe things have changed. Maybe we’re all philosophers now.
Think about it: anyone with an internet connection and a free blog page can have a forum to the world. Whether anybody cares is a different story, I suppose, though it strikes me that many great writers and artists weren’t fully appreciated in their day.
Still, the idea is out there; if you have a deep thought, one that might change the very way we approach life, you can spread it to the masses and the whole world can be enlightened. You don’t have to be an old tenured professor wearing a plaid vest and using a cane in order to have your words heard and appreciated.
Anyone with a blog can be a philosopher. Plain and simple. So, share your wisdom with the masses!
ps- My suggestion to share your wisdom is in fact the only wisdom I have to offer at this time.