Reclaiming Cynicism: De-Disciplinizing Philosophy

As a primarily academic enterprise, contemporary philosophy tends to forget its own origin as a dyad of theory and practice; the philosophical practice leading to theory was as essential as the theory itself – they mutually constituted each other.  In addition, there were at least two modes of philosophical practice whose self-conceptions differ from that of academics, both with higher emphasis on practice as opposed to theory: the Stoic and monastic modes.

The delimitation of these modes is not merely a theoretical pursuit, but one with practical import.  From demands for academic ‘accountability’ due to financial constraints and a need for interdisciplinarity due to vexing environmental issues such as climate change that cut across disciplinary boundaries, academic philosophers might better adapt to rapidly changing conditions through a recognition of the contingency of current methods – and the possibility of new practices.  This recognition lies at the core of the philosophy of Cynicism.

Over the next couple of weeks I hope to sketch out these modes and how they might complement one another in our contemporary milieu.

This entry was posted in Future of the University, Interdisciplinarity, Open Access, Public Philosophizing, Sustainability, Risk Management, & Long-Term Security. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>