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“What is a Philosopher?”

Clara Heyworth15 May 2010

Philosopher Simon Critchley, author of Infinitely Demanding, wonders what a philosopher is for the New York Times "Opinionator", adding yet another footnote to Plato ...

What is a philosopher, then? The answer is clear: a laughing stock, an absent-minded buffoon, the butt of countless jokes from Aristophanes' "The Clouds" to Mel Brooks's "History of the World, part one." Whenever the philosopher is compelled to talk about the things at his feet, he gives not only the Thracian girl but the rest of the crowd a belly laugh. The philosopher's clumsiness in worldly affairs makes him appear stupid or, "gives the impression of plain silliness." We are left with a rather Monty Pythonesque definition of the philosopher: the one who is silly.

Visit the New York Times to read the article in full.

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