Monday 18 May 2015

(Justly-) neglected philosophers

Despite the spread of feminism and multiculturalism, and their impact on fields from literature to anthropology, it is possible to major in philosophy without hearing anything about the historical contributions of women philosophers. The canon remains dominated by white males—the discipline that some say still hews to the myth that genius is tied to gender.

How tiresome is the academic subject of philosophy, how unjustifiably and dishonestly it appropriates the name of this subject, how ever-more tedious and shallower are its fashions and fads.

I would rather recommend a modern philosophical canon that included none, not one single representative, of the standard line-up of post-Medieval philosophers; but instead a collection of literary and middlebrow writers of the ilk of Samuel Johnson, RW Emerson, GK Chesterton and Robert M Pirsig.

(The exception, the cross-over, would be William James.)


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Lila" by Robert M. Pirsig is the best conservative critique of modern society that I have read. I don't know if Nietzsche was a great philosopher, I'm thinking not, but he has had incredible influence on the modern world, and should be read for that reason. Same with Ayn Rand.