Saturday, September 10, 2016

Please Don't Turn Philosophy Into Comedy

There's usually some disdain to be felt whilst browsing the philosophy section of any given bookstore (actually, for this particular bookstore I'm referring to, the section was deemed 'ideas' - is there any book, assuming it's not filled with blank pages, that doesn't have a single idea in it?). Anyway, the book that ruffled some feathers for me was called Louis C.K. and Philosophy. I generally don't enjoy comedians as I've mentioned before, so that's one obvious reason for me to dislike the book from the outset. Intuitively, I have difficulty believing that such entertainment can make for meaningful life experiences; not that vanity ought to be avoided at all times - maybe vanity can somehow promote human flourishing - but I have no plans to bask in content that's intrinsically nonsensical.

Strike two: the heading which reads 'popular culture and philosophy.' This idea is just a recipe for disaster that renders violent head-shaking. I could go down the train of thought about the privatization of intellectual tools (e.g. books are either rented or purchased). I could go down that other train of thought about the hipster notion of popular things being uninteresting. I suppose the real problem that I see here has to do with the reason why I enjoy philosophy. I don't enjoy philosophy so much for practical, down to earth purposes, but rather, I enjoy it because it helps to direct my thinking away from the day to day problems of human life in the human world. This rings true for my interest in metaphysics and the philosophy of religion. That said, I also do enjoy philosophy that's more or less used for this-world purposes, like ethics and existentialism. 

I seem to have run into a contradiction ... I guess that just shows that I'm real (and no, that's not a statement of self-righteousness). Some people dismiss the reality of certain things due to the contradictions which they contain, but these are not plausible grounds for dismissing the truth of something, for if they were, then wouldn't we have to dismiss the existence of this very human world, one which is brimming with contradiction?

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