Alice In Wonderland (Burbank Films) – YouTube Here is a screen shot from the Japanese version of the famous book which I love:
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
They Kant be serious! PC students demand white philosophers including Plato and Descartes be dropped from university syllabus. HAHAHA. I didn’t major in Philosophy but rather, German, specifically, how Germans write about philosophy and logic which amused me to death, seriously. My first husband majored in philosophy. Ended up working in the World Trade Center before moving to New Jersey. Neither of us ended up teaching, instead, we got to enjoy the Futility of Life while holding down real jobs.
The above lecture is about consumerism and futility but then we could talk about the futility of politics or the futility of religion or the futility of optimism, on and on since we are all doomed, everything is futile, what? As I used to say while at the university, ‘An object traveling around outer space can get sucked into the gravity pool where we live and smash into us all annihilating everything and besides, we are all doomed to be sucked into the Great Attractor anyway and be totally torn to shreds even electrons…’
So we laugh, drink and make merry. What is there to dislike about philosophy and astronomy which have the same roots? Namely, terrified people seeking to escape the inevitable.
What is also inevitable is…students being silly because they are so young and aren’t cynical creeps like us oldsters.
But now students at a University of London college are demanding that such seminal figures as Plato, Descartes, Immanuel Kant and Bertrand Russell should be largely dropped from the curriculum simply because they are white.
HAHAHAHA. I wish we thought of that. Imagine eliminating all the male, European philosophers from the classes. PARTY, DUDES! Well, when I was taking these classes during the Medieval Times back in the 1960’s, the vast majority of the students were white European males and one or two Asian brainiacs.
Oh, the glory years! Being a young female only 17 years old, long blonde hair, big boobs, shark teeth, I had the time of my life, it was glorious fun, teasing everyone else. Being female, this was typical predatory activity all teeny bobbers do knowing full well, no one can stop us.
Holding debates about ‘what is philosophy’ was particularly fun for me. The answer is simple: LANGUAGE IS PHILOSOPHY. What? Well…(clearing my throat here) the entire ability to form words and then append them to not only things and even events but also feelings and above all, impossible stuff that can’t exist unless we make it come into being via talking about it, whatever ‘it’ is.
Anyone can do this and humans do this naturally. Do we have functional philosophies that ‘work’ is a totally different equation. And why don’t these damn philosophies work all the time? Why do they all crash and burn? Ah, questions that torment us…is the key to philosophy and why so many philosophers get murdered or executed.
These may be the names that underpin civilisation, yet the student union at the world-renowned School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) is insisting that when studying philosophy ‘the majority of philosophers on our courses’ should be from Africa and Asia.
HAHAHA. I learned a lot hanging around with some monkeys when I was a student. I even took one to school one day to illustrate a point in a debate. The monkey won, of course. Little Elmo screamed and bit me on the hand.
Language was created in Africa. They were unable to create writing but did, in Egypt, create hieroglyphic communications using cats and birds and hippos and other things as words. This does limit philosophical debates. Meow! But they did have rules, laws and science and many cultures rose and fell over the last 6,000 years that created sciences of sometimes amazing quality and certainly, beginning 12,000 years ago, using stones and mountains and sticks humans all over the earth created astronomy to track the moon, the sun and the stars.
Back to the students who want stone age philosophy:
The students say it is in order to ‘decolonise’ the ‘white institution’ that is their college.
I do say, why not just have students create ‘philosophy’ with no lessons from the past? I am serious about this. Then have them debate their philosophical points and then, once they have mastered the art of persuasion (wait! The flaw here! Dead philosophers…weapons…I come from Viking stock…we win arguments the old way…arrrgh! Kill!) they can then learn how they figured out stuff people figured out long ago.
Last night philosopher Sir Roger Scruton lambasted the union’s demand, saying: ‘This suggests ignorance and a determination not to overcome that ignorance. You can’t rule out a whole area of intellectual endeavour without having investigated it and clearly they haven’t investigated what they mean by white philosophy. If they think there is a colonial context from which Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason arose, I would like to hear it.’
To be or not to be, that is the question! Or I think therefore I will go to the pub and get drunk. Wait, we actually did this! I recall many a philosophy class running overtime at the pub. Sometimes we got rather sloshed. The dark twin of philosophy was political science.
Those classes we attacked each other, the professors and the school and the government and ended up with a riot, jail or drunk on someone’s couch. Then there was the sex…ahem…HAHAHA.
The vice-chancellor of Buckingham University Sir Anthony Seldon said: ‘There is a real danger political correctness is getting out of control. We need to understand the world as it was and not to rewrite history as some might like it to have been.’
When I was a child, the most chilling part of Alice in Wonderland was when she met the creature that was half-broom, it erased her path home causing her to cry in despair.
Quite frankly, ‘history’ is continuously ‘rewritten’ and philosophy is like a river full of fish, you never know what you will pull out when you toss in the line. Sometimes, you catch a gigantic shark that seeks to eat you or a Great White Whale shatters everything (Moby Dick is a philosophy book!) or…a female might come long and distract the mental giant by wiggling her hips and sticking out her tongue which is a great way to screw up a debate…ahem…NO!
Time for the Dark Side of Philosophy:
Miquon Jackson, B.A Philosophy & Theatre, Syracuse University (2018)
Written Mar 3, 2016 writes:
Though I certainly am ‘one’ with the perspectives mentioned here already, I still empathize with the curiosity of the inquirer, in that none of these answers actually accomplish the task of answering the question asked. I have to admit that I completely understand why that is the case.
The Cheshire Cat was adroit at this sort of chatter. Drove Alice nuts. Caused the cat to nearly grin itself to death.
The philosophical position that posits that there is “no such thing as objective reality or truth” is ontological nihilism. In other words, ontological nihilism is an extremely skeptic position that claims that nothing at all possesses the property of “real,” “objective,” or “truthful” existence.
Except…Death is very real. It is the Ultimate Real. It pays no attention to grand mental gymnastics, it stops everything dead in its tracks for it is impossible to escape.
I used to delight in ‘eternal existence’ game thinking. Grew up literally inside observatories and listened to the excitement and despair of the astronomers who have to look straight down the maw of the Great Attractor and its deadly forces and humans end up knowing that we are fated to be annihilated.
What fun. So…how do we all cope with this information? Well, we go insane and pretend this is sanity and ignore everything even as astronomers continue to look at the death, doom and destruction of the entire Universe and wonder about space, time and why did we create observatories that could see all this chaos and dangers?
Well…we are curious monkeys and can’t resist this. Knowing our sun is a star that will either blow up or be sucked into another, bigger star cluster, is scary. I can’t escape this thought for I grew up with it. It was with me every day, all the time, it isn’t a written series of words, I watched, first hand, as astronomers figured this all out.
I listened in on the Great Debate about Time and Space. My grandfather knew Einstein and Einstein had this weird sense of humor about all this otherwise he would have killed himself. This is how astronomers survive though not all, not by a long shot. Some go crazy as I also know very well, first hand.
To some degree, it can be said that this position was “formulated” on the basis of the latter part of your question, “since philosophers disagree on everything.” But, again, to reiterate, philosophers — even people — don’t disagree on everything. Indeed, this simple realization already places a rather large hole in the very foundation of this position.
So, this poor philosophy teacher thinks philosophers don’t disagree about everything? Then why have any? HAHAHA. The entire point of existing and calling oneself a ‘philosopher’ is to be very disagreeable!!!! So this guy isn’t a real philosopher since he doesn’t understand this basic psychology and reason to exist which plagues all philosophers.
Imagine a philosopher’s meeting where everyone agrees…DEAD SILENCE. They would all kill themselves or die of boredom. Even simple astronomical information such as ‘is the planet’s climate getting hotter and hotter or is it now getting colder and colder’ leads to violent debates, the government attacking people and punishing them, threats on each other’s lives and chaos!
Then there is religion which leads to the most murderous debates of all! One religion’s heaven is another’s hell and both hate anyone who says there are no heavens or hells.
Now on to futility of the demands to have most University philosophy classes be about only African philosophy (outside of the fun stuff from Egypt…cats insist they are still gods! Down on your knees, humans!): Here is Wikipedia’s entry about African philosophy:
Another more controversial application of this approach is embodied in the concept of Negritude. Leopold Senghor, a proponent of Negritude, argued that the distinctly African approach to reality is based on emotion rather than logic, works itself out in participation rather than analysis, and manifests itself through the arts rather than the sciences.
So true: back in the Stone Ages when glaciers covered much of North America and lots of Europe, ancient philosophers ran around in furs killing mastodons and painting amazing pictures of all this on cave walls. This is the birth of ‘philosophy’ which is all about magic, art, music and killing animals and other humans.
Yes, killing. It is our earliest mental gymnastics. Justifying killing requires carving out a reason to do this and feeling like it was good to do this and then stopping it from happening at home in the cave when with the Little Lady and her gang of squalling, quarreling, noisy, hungry little brats we call ‘children’.
The men would sulk at the mouth of the cave and mutter to each other while eating the meat off of the bones and tossing these to the dogs. Complaining about women in the cave was a huge topic. And how did those long haired big titty creatures drive the men so nutty?
And how did they create life whereas men killed. This is the dark, dank roots of all philosophy about Life.
Cheikh Anta Diop and Mubabinge Bilolo, on the other hand, while agreeing that African culture is unique, challenged the view of Africans as essentially emotional and artistic, arguing that Egypt was an African culture whose achievements in science, mathematics, architecture, and philosophy were pre-eminent.
Egypt? What about Minoan and all the north coast people who were as creative or more creative? All over the Mediterranean Sea were cultures that birthed the modern form of ‘philosophy’ then there is China and of course, the 5,000 year old hotbed of religion and philosophy and the creation of numbers and language and beer: India and Mesopotamia.
This philosophy may also be maligned as overly reductionist due to the obvious scientific and scholarly triumphs of not only ancient Egypt, but also Nubia, Meroe, as well as the great library of Timbuktu, the extensive trade networks and kingdoms of North Africa, West Africa, Central Africa, the Horn of Africa and Great Zimbabwe and the other major empires of Southern, Southeast and Central Africa.
Why not just study history? Sigh. Philosophy is a monster beast, it is the Minotaur in the Maze. Fighting that Beast is difficult. It is hard to grasp and when you do grasp the Horns of Dilemma you can’t let go again! Of course, you can always call on the Lightning gods to save you. But it is highly painful. Might as well just ride the Beast to Hell and back.
This basket is from the reservation where I lived as a child. Warped my brains, it did.