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A Defence of Philosophy Carlos David Garca Mancilla Abstract This article will try to make an apology in the two senses of the word, as a defence or apologia of philosophy and as an excuse from it. It will try to question the academy and the perspective that society has from it. The philosophy is in trouble, it has always been. Its own essence - in a certain perspective - are the questioning and the criticism. But its questioning voice is silent and silenced. The way philosophy is made in the academy moves away what is originally close. That is why it is silent. We forgot about mankind, we forgot to question every individual in the public market exhorting them to worry about the virtue. But it is also silenced. The soul of philosophy is freedom and disinterestedness. It has no master and follows no direction until its own self-consciousness determines one. It is useless, not for being absurd, but for being free; it is not meant to be used, but to understand.

So is philosophy exiled from practical life and its problems. And even if its original message certainly cannot be more important for every one of us, it is not heard.

Key Words: Philosophy, power, freedom, emptiness, silence.

***** Death is certain, passions are untameable and the world hostile as an enemy, truth unreachable and virtue a dream. What is it left for us According to Marcus Aurelius, only one thing: philosophy. This article will try to make an apology of philosophy in two senses of the word, as a defence or apologia of philosophy and as an excuse for it. The theme of philosophy is the totality, the existence in all its conceivable extension; but it is also mankind and life in a very particular and important manner. Science and philosophy try to find something true; to solve mysteries, and mankind is maybe the mysterious itself. But an enigma is, at least, known as something unknown. Philosophy is not a hunter for mystery, but its unmasker. To say something about philosophy is difficult. Its being depends on how it understands the real; and reality will always be a mystery. But it could be said that philosophy arises when what appeared as evident and true, becomes doubtful and mysterious. We understand ourselves, life and the world. This understanding allows us to actually live. But we go over our life dwelling on shadows and building enormous castles over emptiness. We persuade ourselves that life should be directed toward the grandeur and the pleasure;

and we regret wealth, power and fame that we do not posses, or the delights, 16 A Defence of Philosophy which result in pain, sickness and guilt. Even the Caesar, the most powerful man in his time, was distressed while looking at a statue of Alexander Magnus, who conquered a bigger territory being younger than him. Even the wealthiest man on earth will always search for greater wealth. Are these real ends Is something actually achieved We persuade ourselves about our power upon nature and about our fair ideals, and we slave men and beasts.

But there is almost nothing in our real power. When we try to dominate and grasp nature or the others, we chain them and we chain our self. The master is slave of his slaves: the paradox of power. Which nation could be able to live without the achievements of its technology or without making others its servants Who is the servant and who the slave We all are. Power is a simulacrum, a ghost, which is a herald of tameness and the complete lack of liberty.

Socrates ended up on a trial because of the same ambiguity of power, and he forges an apologia for philosophy at the same time he defends himself. He was indicted for looking for power through illegal means; by misguiding other people, making them fall in their own mistakes and denying the gods as if proclaiming a new religion; who can be more powerful than a prophet But Socrates was a philosopher, and he was searching for nothing but the truth. Philosophy is freedom and is detached from power. This is the reason why Marcus Aurelius answered to the difficulties of life in the way he did.

Philosophy is freedom. When thinking about power, we can conclude that the only thing that prevails in our finite and weak power is ourselves. Any other course of action may lead us not only to the uncontrollable game of power, but to misery. Self-reliance, philosophy enshrines. But that is not a state of mediocre resignation, but the consciousness of oneself boundaries and of the futility of any other power.

Liberty opens its doors when necessity ends; mainly if it is that invented necessity, which grows every time we attempt to satisfy it. It is true, we would not live without the others and the other things, but the desire of power is not a proper and appropriate way of being. Being appropriate (thoughtful toward: showing careful consideration or attention, showing regard for other people) the others is to leave them in their proper way of being. This means to act toward the others in a disinterested way and free of the need of them:

we can call that love.

The sign of humility of philosophy and the second seal of its freedom is its uselessness. It is difficult to find something in the world, which has not been interpreted with the paradigm of utility. We use the world as a house, as floor and as shoes, we use the others as sons, workers or lovers.

Even the distant stars have been used to find the way back and the tender infants to perpetuate our lineage. We wrench and violate the world and the others; we gather power from them to transform them into something useful.

Carlos David Garca Mancilla But philosophy only wants to know the world and, in order to do it, philosophy must let them be what they are and it becomes, precisely, useless.

Because philosophy is free from the need to serve, it is in fact, disdained and silenced. The will of power seeks for servility, for the use of things, and is deaf to this voice, which is undrinkable for its insatiable thirst. The philosopher is like a pariah who takes refuge in the academies, who is misunderstood and despised. His speeches seem mysterious and idle, or appear to be like a trivial decoration to nations, which want to show their gracefulness and vast culture; hilariously not realizing that their decoration has demolished their power only with words. But philosophy is not firstly silenced due to its natural tendency to tear icons apart; its strong voice screams suffocated, its discourse is dissident to the power and dissonant to it;

it is silenced not because it is dangerous, but because it seems just like noise.

That does not mean that philosophy has had no relation with power.

In some cases it has been not only useful, but has also modified the world.

However, philosophy is powerful without willing power. It is not due to the will of power, but to the search of truth, that philosophy speaks. And after every one of these cases, another philosopher raised his voice to pull them down: its spirit of liberty is also its spirit of criticism.

Even power has been considered universally, as the dominance of the possibilities of the others, when speaking about it we normally bear in mind the political field, the power par excellence. We can formulate this question about it, why could power be desirable Because of glory, fame, historical transcendence, wealth or egotism. Or to bring goodness to others Then it will surpass the normal human wishes and turn into a messianic will.

To be the saviour of a nation, a continent or the whole humanity. Can we imagine a greater haughtiness or arrogance The second brief part of this article will try to be an apology of a young thinker inside philosophy and from philosophy. The silence I have been talking about is bi-directional. Philosophy speaks with a language different from every day language; different not for being too difficult to be understood, but because of its disinterested relation with power and utility.

However, sometimes it does not speak at all. The academy is full with proud specialists, with learned people who take the last name of some philosophers who really dared to think for themselves. Full of Platonists or Kantians who are lonely, isolated and resentful, and who silence the voice of philosophy.

What can the milliard of books about Plato say to the world Books shaped after long years of study and dedicated to the denial of other books with a similar genealogy. Theories of specialists born to be read by specialists like in a hermetic sect of forgotten initiated. The most complicated theory of physics will have sooner or later its place in utility and power. The most complex philosophical interpretation will remain almost speechless. The selfconsciousness of philosophy and the eternal mystery of mankind and 18 A Defence of Philosophy existence make philosophy look always toward its past and question not a philosopher, but a conception and an interpretation of reality and mankind.

But this task endeavour has fallen in oblivion, philosophers have overlooked philosophy and have founded a new idolatry. What do we do when we write and think about Plato and Socrates, re-creating a borrowed thought without having investigated ourselves We do, maybe, a void similar to that of the will of power. This means that we make but simulacrums of truth, virtue and of philosophy itself.

These philosophers, who hide in the academy, become gloomy and static characters. Philosophy dies inside the colleges, which were supposed to develop and give it a new spirit. Thought can only be generated by itself and it cannot be borrowed. The philosophers in the academy become borrowers and usurers of uprooted thoughts, become commentators and interpreters which use others ideas as crutches which support their weak steps. We forget to think for ourselves, a way of thinking, which is not subjective or individual, but free because it has no prejudices and gives nothing for granted. It is complicated; philosophy has always been self aware of its own history and emerges form its predecessors; to make philosophy it is necessary to know its history. But the historians of ideas seem like adolescents simulating that they are their own masters, mature enough for freedom, even if they still inhabit in the paternal house.

Besides the borrowed thought, philosophers insist in writing enigmatically. Obscurity immediately reflects the will to draw separations and differences, of speaking to a few chosen learners, different from the rest because of their immense ability for deciphering secrets. Apart form the arrogance for being a specialist in totality - because, as said, the object of philosophy is totality and mankind, - or for understanding, in a certain sense, everything; they persist in solving a mystery with an enigma. The philosopher should be more like an artist, a musician who, after a life of practice, study and will of comprehension, in a few minutes donates its energy and effort to the audience, asking from them just a moment of listening. Thus, philosophy is a difficult task, but its heralds should donate it.

That means to request the others not to be philosophers and to clearly give away the profound message.

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