Thursday, October 10, 2019

Is "What is the Meaning of Life?" a philosophical question?

Casually, such questions appear "mostly harmless". When such questions, however, are entertained in earnest, is a philosopher really doing philosophy?

Often philosophers resort to discussing questions that are not properly philosophical questions at all, but are rather poetic questions (eg. "the meaning of life"). Not that we shouldn't read and discuss poetry, but let's not "do poetry" and call it "doing philosophy."

The distinction comes into especial focus when a "philosopher" is "doing poetry", and moreover is unaware that he or she is talking about dull poetry, and, what is even more tedious, is unaware that his or her dilation is a dull conversation about poetry.

The distinction between poetic and philosophical questions compares to what is central in Wittgenstein's conception of philosophy, I believe. 

Meanwhile, HERE is a possible insight from Moby-Dick.

Athena Instructs Odysseus

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