Philosophers, those bloated parasites…


Nigel Cooke

Philosophy…the very world bears a halo so tarnished with the fingernail scratches of a desperate hold that its meaning is as dim as it is persistent.

Philosophy begins in wonder, in disappointment, with anything except instantaneous experience (according to Laruelle). So say the philosophers. Though few comments have seemed as honest as Lyotard’s – that philosophy is at best graffiti on the ruins of the world. But such post-modern self-effacement quickly becomes a PR spin on the shaking claws of the philosopher holding onto the halo of the discipline. Even Zizek, tormentor of the post-modern that he claims to be, reiterates philosophy’s modesty. But the modesty of the philosopher who has purportedly run from the scorching sun of truth into the cooler ruins (maybe of a bombed-out Kantian arche-techtonic) seems to be a false one, an authority that is claiming it is anything but. Then there is Badiou’s philosopher as Wormtongue – as whispering into the ears of truth seekers. Badiou is not the modest figure, he chastises Lyotard’s graffiti artist and rewrote The Republic. Though Badiou grants conditions their autonomy from the philosopher as truth-event manager. This is to say nothing of the theorist who eats at the table of the philosopher but who leaves before the bill arrives. There is also too much to be said about the conceptual engineer figure of philosophy according to Deleuze – the false modesty of ‘just being a brick layer’ but Deleuze does not think he is just a brick layer. He thinks the philosopher can fold the unknown outside into thought. That’s a power beyond brick handling.

Philosophy is the increasingly elaborate (and veiled) betrayal of the modesty of thought.

4 Responses to “Philosophers, those bloated parasites…”

  1. 1 Robert JR Graham » The Truth About Modesty
  2. 2 What Is Philosophy? – Minister Raines
  3. 3 Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings | Stepping Toes

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