Friday, July 16, 2010

Ruiz, Nicholas III. "What Is a Philosopher?" KRITIKOS 7 (May-June 2010).

I have always preferred the concept of a theory-fiction, to explain what the CSR rationalists have hijacked and deem 'philosophy.' Philosophy, is something else. When Jean Baudrillard described his work as theory-fiction, it was because he knew philosophy was a far more activist endeavor. And Baudrillard was the first to admit he was no activist.

On the other hand, there are careerists, and other associated objectivists involved in didactic dissemination of what passes as philosophy ('teachers' of philosophy, etc.). It is such a conglomerate institution that is apt, while stuffed with administrators, and administrative hopefuls, to believe and cultivate the metaphysics of accounting. This Baudrillard described as a particularly inane attempt to control the totality and distribution of orthodox postulates - conspicuously engaging in the analysis of the world, largely, so as to control it, while plump with the ambition, expectation, obsession - and phantasm - of material world possession. All variances of megalomania under the pettifogger rubric, quibbling over trifles and the like.

No, philosophy requires something different - something to the effect of putting your money where your mouth is, no? Alas, we entertain very few philosophers these days...plenty of writers, though. Of every sort and genre: fiction, non-fiction, theory-fiction, creative and otherwise.

Now is about the time someone will remember a certain Sartre, and his writing 'commitment': "...the freedom of writing implies the freedom of the citizen. One does not write for slaves. The art of prose is bound up with the only regime in which prose has meaning, democracy. When one is threatened, the other is too. And it is not enough to defend them with the pen." [2]

Hence a philosopher, generally is not an academic, which begs the question - "Where are the philosophers?" - as they are largely not, in the corporatist academy. Yes, a philosopher may teach, but that cannot be her primary practice, otherwise she risks being simply that, a teacher. However meritorious teaching may be, 'tis another endeavor indeed, as we've just established. And now, we have entered the realm of philosophy, and philosophers, with a word: risk. . . .

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