Monthly Archives: September 2015

Challenge to Myself

I am giving a challenge to myself: To live my life, understand the world and blog without talking about the institution of academic philosophy. I have spent a lot of time highlighting some of academic philosophy’s difficulties. But I am now outside academia. Whatever I am going to contribute to is, first and foremost, outside academia.

And for that contribution only two things are necessary: that i try to understand to world and live my life accordingly.

This doesn’t mean I won’t think or talk about philosophy and philosophers. I cannot image a life like that. I see the world through the categories I have internalized through my reading of Plato, Descartes, Wittgenstein, Aurobindo, and so on. It is no more possible for me to not think about them than it is possible for me to not think about my family or the city I live in. But it is possible to engage with philosophers and philosophical texts without the structures of academic philosophy. That is what I will do.

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Identifying with Descartes and Mozart

I was recently talking to a new friend, someone who describes himself as a “Europhile”. We were talking, among other things, of our shared interest in Western classical music. The conversation brought out an interesting irony which I hadn’t realized keenly enough before: that four years ago, as I left academia in part because of its Eurocentrism, I became increasingly interested in Western classical music. As I stopped teaching Descartes and Kant, my interest in Beethoven and Schubert grew.

The criticism of Eurocentric philosophy is that it is too focused on white men. So why was I getting interested in Bach and Mozart even as I was coming to consciousness of Eurocentrism in philosophy?

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