Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Conceit

This blog has a three part genesis. Firstly, and probably most importantly, it flatters my ego to have writing out and about that the rest of the world can read. Second, I've been trying to figure out a way to practice writing for an audience, as I feel like it's possibly a career path that I would find enjoyable. Thirdly, I think too much about the world.

Now, I know that you are bound to say that one can never think too much about the world. Indeed, would not the world be a far better place if more people would spend a bit of time every day with their chin firmly planted on their palm, staring into space as their brains fire off on various deep concepts? I know I'd like to think that's true, but I'm also fairly certain that most of the world thinks the world would be better off if everyone else in the world was like them.

A better way to approach the problem of whether or not one can ruminate too much is to consider what it actually results in for a given person. Since I'm the only person whose thoughts I'm wholly privy to, I'll just take myself as the given person. I spend most of my time either in reading or in thought, which on paper sounds like an awfully admirable way to spend my time. However, what I find is that when I drench my brain in thoughts about whether or not it is ever moral to use coercion to achieve an end, I tend to come away not with a better understanding of what it is to be a moral person, but with more burning questions. And as if that weren't enough, with a desire to share my thoughts so far with some unsuspecting passerby. My somewhat amateur study of philosophy has gotten me no closer to virtue, done nothing to make my life one better lived. Indeed, given that I'm sometimes late for work because I've been reading some news report or blog post on philosophy of history, you could certainly argue (and I would) that my pursuit of understanding has injured my life.

The fact is, though, that even if philosophy cannot make our given person (yours truly) a better given person, it can fill one's life with a sense of intellectual curiosity if one's preferences lie in that direction. Since I've been interested in philosophy for as long as I can remember, I figure that I might as well accept being late for work, and get down to the business of enjoying my hobby. And feeding my egotism and practicing my writing, of course. The result of these written and published musings shall be whatever this blog turns out to be, and my dear readers can help me with my first goal by reading the blog, the second goal by asking me to explain myself when I'm utterly incoherent, and the third goal by please please please disagreeing with me and telling me why I'm wrong! That would give me more of those delightful questions that drive the hobby of philosophy.

Now you know my aims and your responsibilities. Let's get to it!


  1. I am looking forward to reading more...very interesting. What blogs on philosophy of history do you read?

  2. I don't read any dedicated blogs on philosophy of history, but Ta-Nehisi Coates writes on what it means to study history and peoples, which I would say could be called the philosophy of history. At any rate, it seems that he investigates the purposes of history and what it means to be a student of history.