Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The consolations of philosophy

Its hardly vindication, but its good to read pieces such as this from time to time to hear external validation that my ten years hard slog study of philosophy was worthwhile.

The extent to which a society takes critical reflection seriously, institutionalised within active well-funded philosophy departments and as part of popular discourse from pubs and bars to temporary gatherings round the office water cooler, is the extent to which it takes itself seriously.

Perhaps if philosophy were taken more seriously in Nigeria, we wouldn't have to hear the evangelistas spout their arrant BS quite so loudly, and perhaps their grandiose chimeras would be less easily swallowed. Perhaps also the issue of safe forms of contraception would not be part of the debate from Awka to Zamfara, nor would there need to be an argument for made for abortion - it would simply be law. Today, 27 more Nigerian women died from backstreet abortions..

Thanks Big Buddha for the link.


Anonymous,  3:55 pm  

Glad to see young people turning to thought in times of existential crisis, (rather than violence).

On the topic of things young people study... read an article in a London paper recently stating that not enough US students are studying Arabic and Arabic related courses and there are not enough US with proper Arabic departemnts (1 or 2; nothing at Harvard, Yale etc.)

Gorimapa,  4:05 pm  

I don't know if thoughtlessness is an especially Nigerian trait at the moment. Americans too have lost their everloving minds...

See Jacoby's book:

Patrice,  6:45 pm  

Perhaps if philosophy were taken more seriously . . . nor would there need to be an argument made for abortion - it would simply be law.

Jeremy, are you saying that philosophy puts an end to the abortion debate? I think it contributes to it.

@anonymous 3:55 PM

Both Harvard and Yale have Islamic and Near Eastern studies departments/programmes, which include Arabic studies.

Anonymous,  8:41 pm  

is Big Bhudda a real or imaginary link? the bhuddist equivalent of "God told me"?

Anonymous,  8:40 am  

From anon @ 3.55pm.

Patrice, thanks. I'm humbled and honestly bothered that I gave some credence to the view, mad as it seemed. I'm really bothered actually... it was a major UK paper. No fact checking done? And why was I more prepared to 'believe' it there than if it was written in This Day.

Again, thanks Patrice. I want to crawl under a table and hide myself from embarrassment. And sorry, Havard and Yale.

Unless I missed the point of the article completely, which remains a possibility.


Anonymous,  10:12 am  

10 years hard slog to determine that a large proportion of people are morons? Wow...

Fred 1:01 pm  

The concentrated study of philosophy is a solipsistic aversion to real work; it's almost useless, especially when carried on for that long, J. ;-) Love you, too.

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