Quincy: You’re welcome. I think I like the idea as well.
There are some interesting things about this piece and I wonder what others might think about them. Here are a couple of points from the article:
-Philosophy is too professionalized
-Philosophy is inaccessible to the public, both because the public is insulated from academia and because some philosophers do not write accessibly
I can understand some of the worries expressed in the article, but some of them I am not experienced enough to intelligently comment on.
However, I am curious about the claim that philosophers (and analytic philosophers are singled out particularly) do not write accessibly. Who, I wonder, is in mind here? And what about the reputation continental philosophy has—i.e. that it is extremely hard to read and understand? (I am, of course, just assuming there are such things as analytic and continental philosophy.)
I ask the readership: Is philosophy cut off from the masses? Should philosophers write for the public? Is the historic picture presented in the article fairly accurate?
(And, as an aside, what do you think about what Havi Carel says at the end of the piece? Specifically: Ought we fear death? Is worrying about life and limb trivial?)
I think it is quite interesting to note the shift between the kind of “in the marketplace,” or in a barrel, Philosophy of Socrates and the written works of most prominent philosophers. At some point I think that Philosophy does need to get more accessible, though I am not entirely sure it isn’t already occurring (see recent Frankfurt works that are short, sweet and catchy).
If Philosophy is principally the pursuit, maybe perfection, of knowledge, then I am inclined to ask: to what end? If we are simply going to hoard the knowledge in our dusty spires, what do we truly gain?
As far as the comment at the end of the selection, reference Epicurus and not fearing death: this is an extremely powerful, perhaps empowering, philosophical position. I found Epicurus to be remarkable in terms of generating a positive outlook on life, though this is hardly the most common outcome (based only on the class response in Ancient Philosophy when we discussed Epicureanism). Not to mention: Epicurus’ actual argument for not fearing death is well reasoned and hard to argue against without the introduction of faith or revelation.