Tuesday, 15 June 2010

'Doing' philosophy

A great danger in 'doing' philosophy is precisely in the doing. What I mean is: sitting in a coffee-shop, the sunlight coming through the floor-to-roof glass, the buzz of the caffeine in my bloodstream, Adorno's Negative Dialectics open before me, a narrow-nib pen in my hand as I scribble marginalia ... there's something too self-satisfying in this. Not that there's anything wrong in self-satisfaction, within bounds, of course: but that this vignette is not the ground out of which I 'do' philosophy -- it is, on the contrary, the philosophy that enables this little moment. I'm not doing philosophy, I'm doing a species of vainglory. The philosophy is there, in the first instance at least, to flatter my amour-propre than I am clever enough to do philosophy. This actually makes a sort of quasi-Deleuzian machinic loop; but all that's required of the philosophy in this system is that it be difficult. Not that it be wise, or fertile, or dialectical, or illuminating, or of historical interest. Just that it be difficult.

I haven't the data to diagnose a general problem here, although I may suspect the problem is more general than just me. But I note it because it certainly, and lamentably, describes me.

1 comment:

王周宏儒 said...