But if we are not fortunate enough to remain distant and stay in the will of doing philosophy, but being nothing but an apprentice without his own wings, we can fall in the servility to power. Clearly philosophers can find a place in the world of utility. Their universalising and general way of thinking can be an excellent tool for certain purposes. Thus, enslaved and marked by interest, we can become the best apologists for no matter what idea, we can become sophists allied to gravediggers. Since we forget about truth and virtue, with this ability of managing reasons and minds anything Carlos David Garca Mancilla can have convincing fundaments. Anything can seem to be just and justified, anything, even war and poverty.
These sophists are similar to that Nazi soldier who, after his duties in the crematorium, went back home and played Chopin in a piano, feeling delighted and deified in his demons. The distance between the beauty of the music and that wicked character is as enormous as notorious is the contrast.
The same happens between the sophist and the true philosopher. Thus, these sophist-philosophers are servants of power, wealth, interests and slaves of themselves. They forget that the trees of life and thought are not distant or different; that speaking about the just and the goodness without thinking about them up to the last consequence and without being good and just themselves is the death of this freedom and of philosophy itself. Anyone can apply his abilities to any ideal or end without thinking and analysing the moral consequences, and he would keep on being what he is and being able of doing what he does, but not the philosopher.
What are we philosophers Proud debtors, servile freethinkers and pleased mystery carriers. We disregard making, thinking and living philosophy. Not even freely have we renounced to freedom. Freedom is not pure irresolution and indifference, but, maybe, the possibility of giving the law to oneself. To shape oneself, like a mass of clay, with the hands of one’s self-conscious thought. Thus, philosophising has no direction until its own consciousness determines one. This is the pure thought, the beautiful thought, the thought that is appropriate to its self; it, without ends or prejudices, tries to bring to light a true basis for life and existence or, at least, a provisional one. The first step of philosophy is thus destruction; taking anything for granted. The human world stands on assumptions, prejudices and simulacrums, on immense veils, which take the place of truth and virtue. We should remember Nietzsche and approach the world with a hammer in the thought. Let’s first philosophise by hammering. Not, of course, with the hard and rough strike of the metal on the rock, but with the chisel like the archaeologist or the sculptor; gentle and rigorous, but also destructor. It is essential to overthrow prejudices and ideologies to be free. Break apart the idols that power has imposed and that determine our thought and life. Just then it is possible to start the reconstruction out of the wreckage; a positive proposal emerging from life and thought. And this action is not a matter of revolution and change, it cannot be; it is something that should dwell in the heart of the philosopher in every moment. Being just and good is normally a matter of obeying the laws, of following certain pre-established values.
Weather they are good or not, they may be solved according to some other given perspective. Dogmatism rules the actions, and maybe it has to. But the laws always find a moment where they become unfair or new situations which mankind has never faced arise; then we reach the limits of the fundaments that formerly supported us. Rarely someone has descended up to 20 A Defence of Philosophy the lack of fundaments and achieved an answer out of the void. Philosophy inhabits these limits, and rarely someone asks for its answer.
Philosophy exists because mankind does; because the ultimate questions of life and existence are inescapable and always provisional, and the wisest man of all can only propose one course in the middle of an infinite and undiscovered land. Totality, the topic of philosophy, will never be understood even after crossing every possible path. To philosophise is also to assume and to know clearly the boundaries of our thought without renouncing to walk through an endless road. Many philosophers have reached a system, a complete explanation of reality; but like every dogmatism, it will find its limits and weaknesses. That is philosophy, a denial and reinforcement of its past steps. That should be also the philosopher.
Let’s remember about Socrates, who only knew about his lack of knowledge, and that every step he made led him to a clearer knowledge of his ignorance. The investigations into the goodness and the virtue, the meaning of existence and the essence of mankind are not absurd just because of their elusive nature, but they are inescapable. Let’s remember, also, that Socrates was a public man and not a hermit that he went to the public places questioning the others and himself about the truth and the goodness, exhorting them to worry about virtue and not about fame, money or power.
Let’s remember that he wrote nothing because philosophy dwells upon the thought which loves to think; too free to be contained in books or ultimate pronouncements. Let’s remember to live philosophy, which in its free vitality always gives away its self to others.
Bibliography Jaspers, K., Einfhrung in die Philosophie. R. Piper, Mnchen, 1953.
Aurelio M., Meditaciones. Alianza, Madrid, 1985.
Nietzsche, F., El ocaso de los dolos. Tusquets, Madrid, 1998.
Ortega y Gasset, J., Qu es filosofa Espasa Calpe Mexicana, Mxico, 2000.
Platn, Dilogos. Gredos, Madrid, 1981.
Privitera, H., Why Should One Be Born Before Time: Equal Birth Rights for All. Galactica University Press, Beautiful-land and Aplaceforme, 2008.
Theoretical Discourse on the Challenges of Black Intellectuals in Post-Modern America Tunde Adeleke Abstract Over four decades ago, in his seminal publication, The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual (1967), the late Harold Cruse bemoaned the failure of black intellectuals to project, ‘an autonomous ethnic’ vision. He criticized black intellectuals for not assuming effective leadership of the racial and ethnic challenges confronting blacks. Cruse’s book helped focus public attention, and ignited debates, on black intellectuals. A major challenge has to do with determining primary responsibility of black intellectuals, and the nature and character of intellectual productions. In other words, should race be the determinant of responsibility, or should that responsibility be to a greater and higher national cause Should priority be to the demand of the academy for intellectual rigor and production or to the demand of the black struggle for ideological leadership As black intellectuals, how should they respond to black popular culture, or more precisely, expressions of black cultural resistance such as Gangsta rap and Hip hop This paper attempts to addresses these questions through a theoretical analysis of a select group of black intellectuals whose writings underscore the tension between the conflicting demands of the academy and the Black struggle (Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Manning Marable, and Molefi Asante).
***** 1. Introduction In his Prison Notebooks (1977), Italian Marxist Political theorist Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937) proposed two conceptions of intellectual leadership - traditional and organic. The former is attached to, and in cohort with the dominant ruling class. The latter identifies with the interests, aspirations and ideals of the oppressed and marginalized masses. Organic leadership, according to Gramsci, is embedded with the people, and thus could be trusted to defend their interests. Gramsci challenged the prevailing belief that because the training of intellectuals emphasized abstract and ostensibly universal values and methods, they are supposed to transcend group allegiances and affiliations. He encouraged social groups to generate their own distinct intellectuals.22 Theoretical Discourse 2. Black Intellectuals, Knowledge & Power Black intellectuals and revolutionaries have equally invoked this Gramscian typology of organic leadership in different contexts. They include the late Guinean and West Indian scholars and revolutionaries, Amilcar Cabral and Walter Rodney, respectively. Both advocated an intellectual leadership that is dedicated to the revolutionary aspirations and empowerment of the masses. This style of leadership results from the commission of class suicide. In the words of Rodney, such leadership must be ‘grounded’ with the people. This ‘grounding’ would educate black intellectuals and prepare them to function as revolutionaries.Walter Rodney described this leadership as guerrilla intellectualism (GI), someone embedded within a hegemonic colonial/neo-colonial order against which he/she had to mobilize his/her intellectual resources.3 Both he and Cabral exemplified this leadership typology in the context of Africa’s colonial and neo-colonial struggles. Rodney urged black intellectuals to embrace the ‘first and major struggle,’ that is, the struggle over ideas, by using their positions within the academy to challenge Eurocentric ideas.
Furthermore, as a product of bourgeois environment, the black intellectual must first be emancipated from the entrapment of bourgeois culture, indeed from what Rodney characterized as the ‘Babylonian captivity’ of bourgeois society. He suggested two ways of accomplishing this - by vigorously attacking negative Eurocentric and hegemonic ideas and theories, and by fully identifying and grounding with the people, and in the process, undergoing what Cabral called, ‘A spiritual reconversion of mentalities.’Rodney rejected the doctrine of ‘knowledge for knowledge sake.’ Knowledge is useful only to the degree that it advances the cause of liberation. It is the ability and willingness to use knowledge in the cause of freedom that distinguishes a GI from an armchair theoretician. This commission of class suicide, which Rodney and Cabral prioritised, entailed the cultural re-education of the intellectual ‘in the native ‘mass character,’ and his/her ‘spiritual reconversion of mentalities.’5 Rodney abandoned what would have been a lucrative and successful academic path to immerse himself in the working class struggles in his native Guyana; a commitment that eventually took his life.6 Cabral also lost his life in the vanguard of his native Guinean revolutionary struggles against Portuguese colonialism. Like Rodney, Cabral could have retreated to the safety and comfort of ivory tower intellectualism.Black intellectuals in America have historically engaged the dynamics of knowledge and power. Pioneer black intellectuals of the nineteenth century understood the relationship between knowledge and power and sought to utilize their modest intellectual resources for the empowerment of the race.8 These pioneers mobilized their knowledge in the Tunde Adeleke cause of black liberation. Subsequent generations would build on this foundation.Modern black intellectuals confronted the challenge of helping to chart the path to freedom, equality and empowerment. They took this responsibility seriously. G. N. Grisham, Professor and Principal of a high school in Kansas City, Missouri, described as ‘one of the ablest educators and most practical philosophers in the country,’ emphasized the linkage between knowledge and power and urged black intellectuals to assume an activist role in the struggle.Carter G. Woodson, Du Bois and the New Negro intellectuals of the early twentieth century were all inspired by the efforts of earlier generations to adopt a utilitarian construction of knowledge.11 In fact, Du Bois underlined the imperative of an intellectual avante garde class. As he explained, ‘The Negro Race, like all races, is going to be saved by its exceptional men. The problem of education, then, among Negroes must first deal with the Talented Tenth […] the best of his race that they may guide the mass.’Woodson and Du Bois, Harvard trained historians used their knowledge to authenticate black history and culture; and demonstrate black compatibility with America.13 John Hope Franklin’s progressive ‘Up from Slavery’ genre belongs in this category. He used his scholarship to highlight a progressive American culture. This progressive genre soon came under scrutiny and attack as nationalist-oriented scholars advocated a more militant/nationalist historiography; one that highlighted anti-American and contradictory themes.The aphorism ‘knowledge is power’ was critical to the civil rights activism of the 1960s. Leading activists such as Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael underscored the fragility of civil and political rights. Those rights could easily be compromised without the acquisition of knowledge.15 Thus, the demand for intellectual leadership became a critical component of civil rights activism. Similarly, the shift in the 1960s black students’ activism from non-violence to Black Power was informed by recognition of the importance of knowledge. Black Power activists concluded that the drive for selfdetermination would fail without adequate education.The civil rights context created new challenges. Conflicting responses to civil rights reforms split black intellectuals into opposing integration versus nationalist/separatist schools. Some critics contend that the reforms fundamentally altered the function of the black intellectual from activism to reconciliation. The latter called for de-emphasising nationalist/ethnic vision. Nationalist-minded black intellectuals, however, cautioned against being seduced by the reforms into prematurely surrendering the nationalist/ethnic vision. Thus, there developed conflicting constructions of the role of the black intellectual. Conservative intellectuals such as Shelby Steele and Thomas Sowell de-emphasised race and racism 24 Theoretical Discourse and identify black moral failures and shortcomings, and inability or refusal to embrace core American values as major obstacles to integration.17 Nationalist and left-leaning black intellectuals like Molefi Asante, Manning Marable, Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson highlight racism, inequality, white hegemony and the alienation of blacks. They invoke black nationalist/ethnic consciousness to theorize about the relationship of knowledge to power in America.18 Black intellectuals also disagreed on the primal function of scholarship, and the role of the intellectual.
Материалы этого сайта размещены для ознакомления, все права принадлежат их авторам.
Если Вы не согласны с тем, что Ваш материал размещён на этом сайте, пожалуйста, напишите нам, мы в течении 1-2 рабочих дней удалим его.