Friday, July 02, 2010
Nancy Bauer on philosophy, humility and Lady Gaga.
Philosophers like to think that argument — “the pure light of reason” — will eventually lead everyone to accept “the” correct way to think about whatever they are writing about. But if we are honest, we will admit that the chances that all sensible readers will embrace the terms in which a philosopher proposes to illuminate some dark corner of the world are no higher than the chances that someone who is awed by Lady Gaga’s sui generis self-comportment could say or do anything to convert people who find the mere mention of her name beneath contempt. For some, this fact will mean that philosophy is fundamentally no better than the sniping that characterizes much Internet discourse. For others, it will constitute a challenge to acknowledge with due humility the arrogance that doing philosophy inevitably courts.
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