Is Philosophy Magic?

Samuel Loncar at Marginalia Review:

Academics use the category of magic, well, often magically, to dismiss the phenomenon they are studying, to banish the subject matter from living contact with their present reality. Ancient philosophy is over there, good and dead, and we enlightened modern philosophers and scholars are over here, living, present, pristine and modern, washed clean of ancient superstitions. But magic is rather sticky, hard to wash off from the hands or the delicate underside of the modern mind, to which it clings like a sinister visitor who has always arrived, but is still waiting to announce itself.

Whether we believe in magic or not, whether we honor names or not, names are magical and magical are our names. They are magical because we answer to them, and through them make the world answerable to us. Try just inventing a name that “sticks.”

more here.