I loved philosophy; the idea of philosophy, that is. MY philosophy.
‘I think therefore I am’ would chase round my head like a prancing white horse pulling a magical carriage.
I dreamed of Socrates wandering his market place, observing this and that. But mostly the wonderful algebra of ideas enthralled me. ‘You agree with this, don’t you?’ the master would say, ‘And that is self evident.’ His audience would dutifully nod again; less enthusiastically the second time although there was no arguing with that; it was self evident. But they had already agreed to this; there was no going back.
‘And’ so, the magician announced, ‘Voila! something else.’
The conjurer with his black hat and white rabbit is no more than a pale shadow of Socrates and his algebra of ideas. 2 +2 = 5 doesn’t begin to express it.
That was philosophy and that’s what I loved. But many beloved things lose their lustre on closer acquaintance.
I started to read the text books. And philosophy was no longer itself but the history of past philosophers. No-one put this and that into the hat any more; they dissected someone else’s something else. Where’s the magic in that?
It got worse; they dissected the other’s dissecting of someone else’s something else.
That wasn’t the philosophy of my dreams.
But the Blogosphere is today’s equivalent of Socrates’ market place. He wouldn’t find his audience in our supermarkets now would he? Everyone’s far too busy rushing around trying to avoid the rush. No, you find an audience where people are prepared to stop awhile and consider. And that’s in front of their computer screens.
Here, as we stop for coffee, we can indulge in the age old magic of juxtaposing unlikely pairs of ideas and waiting to see what emerges.
So who will join me in the magical hunt for truth?