Against Professional Philosophy

From P2P Foundation
Jump to navigation Jump to search


Robert Hanna et al. :

"W, X, Y, and Z all share a deep love of real philosophy. By real philosophy, we mean authentic (i.e., wholehearted, and pursued and practiced as a full-time, lifetime calling), serious (i.e., neither job-oriented nor Scholastic and shallow), critical, synoptic, systematic reflection on the individual and collective rational human condition, and on the thoroughly nonideal natural and social world in which rational human animals and other conscious animals live, move, and have their being. Real philosophy fully includes the knowledge yielded by the natural and formal sciences; but, as we see it, real philosophy also goes significantly beneath and beyond the sciences, and non-reductively incorporates aesthetic/artistic, affective/emotional, ethical/moral, social/political, and, more generally, personal and practical insights that cannot be adequately captured or explained by the sciences. In a word, real philosophy is all about the nature, meaning, and value of individual and collective rational human existence in the world, and how it is possible to know the philosophical limits of science, without being anti-science, and indeed while also being resolutely pro-science. Finally, real philosophy is pursued by people working on individual or collective writing projects, or teaching projects, in the context of small, friendly circles of like-minded philosophers. Like-minded but not uncritical! Real philosophers read both intensively and also widely inside philosophy, and also widely outside of philosophy, critically discuss what they’ve read, write, mutually present and talk about their work, re-read, re-discuss, and then re-write, with the primary aim of producing work of originality and of the highest possible quality, given their own individual and collective abilities. They also seek to disseminate and universally freely share their work, through publication, teaching, or public conversation.

In view of this conception of real philosophy, we also share some serious worries about contemporary professional academic philosophy. More bluntly put, we think that professional philosophy is seriously fucked up in various ways that, ironically and even tragically, oppose and undermine the ongoing project of real philosophy.

The twofold purpose of Against Professional Philosophy, then, is, first, to provide a serious critique of contemporary professional philosophy, for the sake of real philosophy–namely, anarcho-philosophy aka borderless philosophy–and second, to prepare the way for the real philosophy of the future by featuring past or present philosophical work that is aggressively cosmopolitan and non-chauvinist, critically challenging and edgy, daringly generalist and original, fully humanly meaningful, slightly weird, and generally deemed “unpublishable” in mainstream venues."