February 16, 2015

Constantly Talking Isn't Necessarily Communicating

"But why, my dear Crito, should we care about the opinion of the many? Good men, and they are the only persons who are worth considering, will think of these things truly as they occurred." — Plato, Crito

The majority of humanity, it seems, has very little use—and even less time—for Philosophy, while the remainder are actively hostile to it. This has led some, such as medieval Jewish philosopher Maimonides, to claim that it is better if most were not even exposed to it in the first place. Philosophy with its sober analysis and radical skepticism is, in many ways, completely inimical to the commitment required by both private and public life. Yet, we now live in an age that prides itself on both its enlightenment and critical thinking—the two hallmarks that have always characterized the philosophic pursuit.

While this last statement may seem to contradict my opening premise, I do not see things as such. Criticizing is not the same as philosophizing—and just because Deconstruction Co. is employing more laborers than ever, it does not mean that our society is necessarily more enlightened, either. America today is the richest country in the history of ever, and consequently we have more idle chatterers—Did I say idle? Would to God they really were!—who speculate and demonstrate and instigate, but, in my opinion, very little who actually philosophize.

For many reasons—the majority of which have to do with political expediency and personal gain—what it truly means to philosophize has been forgotten, and the rich philosophic history that has made this mad, but awe-inspiring spectacle of modern life possible forgotten with it. The goal of this blog is to attempt to recover this forgotten—banished—history, and perhaps even to help initiate a return to something that resembles common sense and decency (but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves!).

Most of the thinkers I will present here are "Old, Dead, White Men," but I try to be open-minded and not hold it against them. Unlike the majority of "thinkers" that currently shape our world, they believed that the only thing that defines us is our common humanity—the starting point of all true Philosophy. It has been a long, strange journey that has brought us to this point, but only by fearlessly traversing its paths may we transcend it.

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