Sunday, October 9, 2011

Where are the great philosophers?

Hundreds of years ago the thinkers of the world were often supported by the monarchy. Their wisdom was sought and often guided the decisions of the court. I have been wondering about our modern day philosophers? I guess we can thank the Universities for housing many of them, providing a wage, while they challenge the minds of upcoming philosophers. We hope.
Slavoj Zizek, firebrand philosopher was recently on ABC's Q&A. What an amazing thinker he is, but he wasn't alone. The robust debate between the whole panel, Kate Adie, BBC Foreign Correspondent; Jon Ronson, writer and psychopath expert; Mona Eltahawy, Egyptian born democracy activist; and Greg Sheridan, The Australian's foreign editor, reminded me of the lack of such debate and philosophizing. It also reminded me of how we are now in a society which tends to reward a position, an annual income or some external achievement, rather than radical or 'dangerous' thinking. There is little space for pointless, actually rarely pointless, philosophizing. Room to record, reflect and respond. This methodology used in many contemporary research projects; often utilised when we are in unknown territory, could this be the modern day version of philosophy? 
Either way, I say bring it on-be brave. Let's have more discussions and access to the minds of great thinkers. And let's hope we can then find the time in our complicated lives to digest and ruminate on their words.

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