Friday, December 23, 2011

(More Wolff whining)

In response to the latest grad-school circle jerk over at Wolff's:

Is the purpose of philosophy to learn a set of arcane references that make one appear intelligent, and argue about minutiae appurtenant thereto, or is it to search for ways to improve the human condition?

Sadly, the said circle of congratulation demonstrates the former.  Pop western philosophy is seductive, in that, like the quoting of Shakespeare, it allows the participants to feel very intelligent using terms that the majority would agree confer intelligence, and it also provides such an endless stream of references--like Star Wars or Seinfeld trivia--that one need never leave aside the nuances of the 317th time that Kierkegaard broke wind next to someone else's writing desk, and ask instead whether all that education and effort could help the Unimportant Living better their time here.

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