American Philosophy: A Love Story

John Kaag in Arc:

F7kKgwiajCVXTYMC7-KF_gThe story of twentieth-century American philosophy is the story of philosophy losing its personality. In their quest for objective certainty, many mainstream philosophers assiduously avoided what is termed the “biographical fallacy,” the supposed mistake of interpreting a philosophical theory by considering how it arose from the events in a thinker’s life. This, along with a host of other factors, led to philosophy being severed from the business of living. Philosophy became theoretically pure, abstract, which is to say, impersonal.

Philosophy hasn’t always been like this.

Plato’s Apology, arguably the founding moment of Western philosophy, is a well-reasoned defense (apologia) of the philosophical life; we still talk about Socrates as the archetypal philosopher because he is willing to stake everything, his very existence, on the love of wisdom.

More here.