Non-Academic Philosophy and Challenges of Relevance

Independent thought without academia may be easier than within. I am thinking more about the corporatist and networked impact of which academia is ancillary. It is about schoolwork and study after all more so than holistic analysis or criticism of all that exists. Sartre left academia at The University of Le Havre  to write ‘Being and Nothingness’ and ‘The Critique of Dialectical Reason’. While at Le Havre he wrote ‘Nausea’. His thought developed after going out in the world.

Perhaps academic philosophy tends toward history of philosophy and logic as rigorous science approaches better suited toward student and bureaucratic processes. I agree that very spaced out pedagogical method would be unhelpful for instructing those seeking to learn about philosophy. Social institutions tend almost necessarily to conformity and failure of self-criticism. The broadcast media-government-corporatist-military/industrial complex is an organic entity for-itself   that would be concerned about black marks and brownie points while the world was in global warming and mass extinction danger.

Philosophy in the corporatist era of academia may develop some of the same constraints on free thought and for its expression as existed in the former Soviet Union.  It is not just philosophy that is limited either, political expression by corporate and academic employees is also subject to pressurization.

Non-academic philosophers have the challenge of developing good ideas and expressing those to a mass audience well enough to change political practices. Maybe Condi RIce with that 165 I.Q. unwilling ton stand for Vice President of the United States was like Jacque Cousteau too aware that humanity seems to have a self-determined course toward dystopianism.

Philosophy has tremendous depth in its history. Its nature is in proverbs as well as Coppleston or Russell’s history of the subject, in thought of Strawson, Quine, Paul TIllich or even B.F. Skinner. One of the new challenges is to keep human thought including philosophical and metaphysical ideas meaningful in a social context where evolutionary biologists may regard humanity as just bioforms with phenomenal chemical thought structures permutating. That sort of implicit institutional irrationality lends itself readily to new age fascism and the evolution of immorality. In the age of paradox irrationality may be institutionally rational. The influence of Derida, Dewey and Skinner and deconstruction of human reason leaves us perhaps with a quantum approach to contemporary history and philosophy of faith.

Warburton has raised the bar a little on creative philosophical thought within and without academia. After learning of the comments I decided to name my new book of philosophical essays ‘The Myth of Non-Academic Philosophy’.

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