Nihilism and Revolution

The End of Philosophy

What happened to just thinking?
Rebecca Wolsak, Inter Pares

With only one class left, my degree from the prestigious philosophy department of the University of Pittsburgh is not far away. Since my first class I have muscled my way through philosophy’s greats. Plato’s Republic? Piece of cake. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason? Easy as pie. Even phrases like panta rei and cogito ergo sum are pushovers to me.

Yet despite all of this heavenly knowledge that has been bestowed upon me, I am left unsatisfied. My professors amaze me with their ability to clearly elaborate on any subject, but they never apply their timeless wisdom to reality. Instead of rigorously debating the problems of today, my professors lull the class to sleep with lackluster lectures on trivial topics. Do I possess a priori knowledge? What is the form of me? Am I a thinking thing? Let’s be honest: being lost in the clouds never saved a child from starvation and it never will.

My grades are determined by how well I can regurgitate uninspiring thoughts. I had a class last year, for example, which covered modern philosophy. One of our main subjects was Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy. We found several flaws in Descartes’ arguments but instead of constructing our arguments against his conclusions, we were forced to merely summarize them. Such mediocrity and mental garbage drives me to one simple conclusion: philosophy is extinct.

If we are to believe that philosophy is some guy’s opinion, then we have forgotten the essence of philosophy. Philosophy is the touchstone of all progress. We must remember that philosophy is the purest form of dissent. If we do not ask questions, if we do not question authority, if we do not pressure ourselves, then society will never advance. All progress comes from change, and philosophers used to be the backbone of change. Whether we go back thousands of years to Socrates’ “corrupting the youth” or more recently to Bertrand Russell’s condemnation of the Vietnam War, it is obvious that philosophers used to take a stand against a callous system. Now they simply summarize and overanalyze all the irrelevant aspects of life.

This “magnificent” philosophy program I have experienced is a glorified course in writing book reports. Philosophy has been badgered to death by dogmatic opinions and shallow thoughts.

What happened to just thinking?
What happened?


Jordan Romanus

90 comments on the article “The End of Philosophy”

Displaying 21 - 30 of 90

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trealis

...well this is what you get...when all of the universities become engulfed in leftist groupthink. they all think they're soooo revolutionry but its all been done before. agreed though universities are just egotrips for profs looking for students to agree with their warped thingking.

trealis

...well this is what you get...when all of the universities become engulfed in leftist groupthink. they all think they're soooo revolutionry but its all been done before. agreed though universities are just egotrips for profs looking for students to agree with their warped thingking.

anonymous

As a philosophy major, I get your position completely. What I think he may be referring to is the lack of a tangible effect from all the philosophizing. The Enlightenment spawned an era of revolution. Existentialist thought led people to use their radical freedom to justify radical leftist action. It just seems as though the philosophy being done these days has no repercussions. But I hope we can change that. Its a screwed up word we have to digest but I think we can come up with something out of all the nonsense.

anonymous

As a philosophy major, I get your position completely. What I think he may be referring to is the lack of a tangible effect from all the philosophizing. The Enlightenment spawned an era of revolution. Existentialist thought led people to use their radical freedom to justify radical leftist action. It just seems as though the philosophy being done these days has no repercussions. But I hope we can change that. Its a screwed up word we have to digest but I think we can come up with something out of all the nonsense.

Anonymous

Philosophy isn't politics, yo. It seems like it has no repercussions today because a solidly proofed argument can't be summed up in a chant or a slogan.

And for fuck's sake, by doing these book reports you're learning how to structure a sound argument! This is important!

Ya'lls retarded.

Anonymous

Philosophy isn't politics, yo. It seems like it has no repercussions today because a solidly proofed argument can't be summed up in a chant or a slogan.

And for fuck's sake, by doing these book reports you're learning how to structure a sound argument! This is important!

Ya'lls retarded.

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