Why non-existential philosophy is not philosophy

This ought to require no explanation. Only those deluded enough to think that abstract conceptual speculation – an utterly futile activity – amounts to philosophy would maintain the contrary. Philosophy is being a friend of wisdom. It is a wisdom of life, of existence. The pure thinker forgets his existence in abstract, speculative philosophy.

Although Kierkegaard is proclaimed as the ‘father of existentialism’, the first existentialist was Socrates with ‘know thyself’. Philosophy is instrically bound up with the self and its relation to the world. Abstract conceptual analysis is the lowest form of philosophy, and indeed does not deserve to be called philosophy, which is the love of wisdom.

As Montaigne wrote:

If man were wise, he would guage the true worth of anything by its usefulness and appropriateness to his life.

And Epicurus:

Just as medicine confers no benefit if it does not drive away physical illness, so philosophy is useless if it does not drive away the suffering of the mind.

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One Response to “Why non-existential philosophy is not philosophy”

  1. Camus Says:

    ‘There is but one truly philosophical problem, and that is suicide.’

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