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Philosophy

Which Philosophers Matter?

At a relatively recent “reunion” event, I noticed that the primary social process with which people were engaged was the negotiation and confirmation of facts, measurements, names, identities and dates. They were all, in essence, reconstructing a network graph of personal histories as effective coordinate systems by and through which to render their shared experience intelligible, communicable, real and reflexively self-validating. Seduced as we all are by the implicit teleology of instances, the bigger picture is rendered opaque.

I wonder if we do not participate in precisely this kind of recursively self-propagating negotiation of subjectivity when identifying the authorial waypoints we traverse on our jaunts through the forest of philosophical facts. I have learned from all philosophers, all scientists, all political theorists much more than language is even remotely fit for purpose to represent. Even the bad philosophers and the apologists for tyranny have valuable lessons to teach us.

We might do as well to consider the organic, crystalline totality towards which each and all of our more valued or aligned thinkers are all gesturing as component microcosms. I have learned much more from philosophy than from philosophers.

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