PHILOSOPHY OR PHILO-SOPHIA?
Reading some texts in my web page, one of my pen pals complimented me with the label of philosopher. Beyond of his kindness, I have kept in mind the adjectival sense of the word, and not that of the noun, because - you can see with half an eye - not only that I am not a philosopher but also I would not want to be one at all. Why? I am trying to explain.
A philosopher involves a professional, namely someone who earns his living doing philosophy or at least simulating to do it. Jose Ortega y Gasset assures us that "... philosophy still keeps its maidenhood in spite of its repeated violations". While I have another profession, I could not be a philosopher in the same time so that the idea of lady's virginity gives me some courage, particularly because it belongs to a specialist.
The adjectival sense of the word philosophy is still acceptable, not only for me but for all the people because, in a certain measure, the all of us are philosophers, that is to say lovers (philo) of wisdom (sophia). That does not mean that the all of us necessarily are some wise persons - world would be the most boring thing on the earth - but we might not deny we do not want to be ones. Therefore, allow me please that, beside you, to consider myself to be if not just a philosopher but at least a fan of it.
Why have I said I should not want to be a professional philosopher? Because since Socrates up till nowadays, philosophy went through the thorough way from sublime to ridicule. First at all, from the large field of knowledge, smaller but more precise fields have come off one after another, have built their means of investigation, and have definite themselves as more or less exact sciences. Smaller and smaller was the reminded field for philosophy and, more gravely, fewer and fewer were people willing to make career as philosophers, as long as the scientific ones were much more pertinent and profitable. The remained philosophers hard tried at their turn that, after the example of exact sciences, to lay down their own language but, unfortunately, not for making the expression clearer but, on the contrary, more esoteric and exclusives.
If Socrates used to make philosophy with all the people, for all the people and with the adequate language to his interlocutors, sometimes at the lowest lever of the society, but always approaching essential problems, nowadays philosophy is only a parade of the language, sometimes just in order to hide the lack of ideas and content. The consequence is recorded by one of the last but of common-sense Romanian philosopher: "the authors of philosophic texts ... are greater in number today in the world than their readers" (Gabriel Liiceanu).
As the number of the latter ones has just increased with 1, I am stopping here for avoiding a catastrophe.
June 27, 1998