An Analytical Definition Of Philosophia Essay, Research Paper
Men and women have tried for years to define Philosophy. One particularly interesting attempt was made by Martin Heidegger in the late 8th Century. He is reported as saying to his good friend and lover, Patrick Hurley, “Philosophy is one large search for the being-upon another and one long journey into the being-inside.” In this sense, Philosophy is best understand as a search. But a search for what? For what is it a search? What is the search for?
These are hard questions. One thing is clear. Philosophy is either a search for something, or it is neither a search for nothing nor a search for something. But is this true? Undoubtably, but sadly, it is not. Philosophy cannot be such, and as such, cannot be both the aforementioned seach and not be so. This last point is best illustrated through Bertrand Russell’s essay, “Nietzsche — The Ethernal Reccurance of Bare Particulars.” (Klement, ed. Bergaddis Press, 1911) In this masterpiece of wit, Russell writes that Philosophy represents, “the phallic inner structure of a life that is otherwise.” Satre, infamously, follows up on this and writes, “the hole is deep and wide…the hole must be plugged…philosophy is the plug…ipso facto.”
What can all of this mean? How is a poor undergraduate like myself supposed to understand? Why doesn’t my TA get a haircut? Philosophy IS the answers to these questions. Indeed, a fortiori.
At the beginning of this short essay, I quoted Heidegger. Perhaps it is fitting to end with him as well. At the end of his book, “The End of Philosophy — Thoughts on Cold Fusian and other Nazi Inventions,” he writes, “Concealment is at the core of Nuclear Philosophy. It doesn’t matter whether you are nous, noein, or nobody — what matters is that you try hard. We are all philosopher.”
In short and in conclusion, Philosophy is me. I am philosophy insofar as I am. A simple and obvious truth, yet so elusive and complex.