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What is Philosophy?


Gord Barentsen
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In my experience so many people love to criticize philosophy, but so few of them have any kind of thoughtful idea as to what philosophy is.  So here's one definition from Gilles Deleuze:

When someone asks "what's the use of philosophy?" the reply must be aggressive, since the question tries to be ironic and caustic. Philosophy does not serve the State or the Church, who have other concerns. It serves no established power. The use of philosophy is to sadden. A philosophy that saddens no one, that annoys no one, is not a philosophy. It is useful for harming stupidity, for turning stupidity into something shameful. Its only use is the exposure of all forms of baseness of thought.[1]

 

Footnotes

  1. ^ Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy, 1962, trans. Hugh Tomlinson (New York: Columbia UP, 1983), 106.

When a book and a head collide and a hollow sound is heard, must it always have come from the book? -- Lichtenberg

 

 

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