Being a Philosopher…

Many people call themselves philosophers — it’s kind of like the term “artist” — folks will adopt it as an aspiration, or to describe what they think they do.  I’m not one to argue with that — although, I do think that the Philosophy cosmetics company should be paying actual philosophers royalties… shy of that, they could just set me up with some free stuff.
We’re on spring break right now — and, for me that means a trip to Colorado with my BFF… you can read all of our antics on the other blog.  One thing we’re doing is not getting into watching media — news, TV etc… I like that because it seems to me that those messages clutter my mind.  Already I feel myself relaxing, enjoying small things like reading a good novel and generally just being.
That’s the thing about being a philosopher, we think about the world for a living — well, if I were at a research institution, I’d be writing furiously trying to get tenure and publish stuff nobody else wants to read — and at a community college, I teach other folks the first steps about thinking systematically about the world.
It’s a luxury to be able to sit back and think deep thoughts.  To contemplate existence, right action, knowledge and the like — Philosophers have been doing it since before Socrates and we’ve been engaging in that conversation that goes back before the university… to the streets of Athens.
So, if you want to be a philosopher, you need to think — and read — and think some more.  You need to think critically (whatever that means — I have a whole series of posts on that topic) about the world you see and don’t see.  You may need to go to grad school to do so, but engaging in the literature at whatever level you can is the first step.
So — go out and THINK!

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