Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rob's Last Tapping: Philosophy

My Fellow Philosophers-in-arms,

This week will be the final Tapping Philosophy of the semester (and for some of us the final Tapping of our collegiate careers). We will meet at Yeat's Pub in Ardmore this Thursday at 8 and I will be running rides from Connelly at 730. If you have never been to Tapping, haven't been to Tapping in awhile, or are a Tapping-alumnus whose been meaning to stop by (you know who you are), this is the week to come out. The last Tapping of the year is a lot of fun and is a nice way to put the past few months (or years) into perspective, hope to see a lot of people there.

The Topic:

Essentially this week's topic is rather selfish as I am a Senior philosophy major who is about to graduate with a total lack of confidence that the last four years of rigorous philosophic discourse have been of any use to me at all. This being said, this week's topic is: is philosophy really valuable...I mean, come on!

Sure philosophy has done great things in the world; it has fathered more offspring than Abraham on Viagra: political science, aesthetics, cognitive science, ethics, and sociology just to name a few. But now isn't philosophy nothing more than a hallowed out husk which has yielded all possible fruits? Anything left within the legitimate grasp of the discipline of philosophy seems to be of little or no practical value; or is even talking about strict disciplines even a valid question in the swirling, murky swamp of a post-modern age? Philosophy has done some great things in the world and acted as the foundation to innumerable worthy causes and institutions, but hasn't it been the bedrock of a equal number of genocides and dictatorial regimes (see Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia, the Bush White House [low blow, I know])? What is the value in a discipline whose cannon can be as easily appropriated by the Nazi's as it can the Carmelites? Finally, is it really better to know something rather than nothing? Sure its good to know how gravity works and that you can't cross the street when the "Don't Walk" sign is flashing, but is it really a good thing to search for answers to the deeper questions of life or would it just be better if we all quieted our worried minds and watched American Idol? Simply put, is ignorance really bliss?

Hope to see a lot of you there on Thursday so we can hash some of this out and maybe make me feel better about the $160,000 I just spent.


Anarchy and Love,
Rob

1 comment:

Francis Prior said...

Rob et al.,
Hah, yes, good (depressive?) questions, Rob. Of course, a philosopher must defend his/her discipline! After all, it's not "philosophy" which is to blame for the Nazis, Stalin, and the like, but PEOPLE. Or to put it in Buddhist terms, the ignorance and craving of people. That's the "short answer"!
It's not likely that I'll be able to make it Thursday, though I would LIKE to. Melissa is arriving late Thursday afternoon, and I kind of doubt we'll be "available" that evening. But, maybe, just maybe, I/we can stop by.
Cheers in either case,
Michael Prosch