In this essay, I defend philosophical wandering not only as an approach to doing philosophy, but also as an important force to incite critical reflection in cultural life. I argue that philosophical wanderers have an embodied, errant praxis, supporting wisdom whenever they engage with others. For these philosophers reflection is not given in a series of systematic assertions, nor through phenomenological description, nor analytic dissection. Rather, reflective life is the force that enhances the performative element of philosophy as an exercise in being obnoxious (as a Socratic gadfly) to bring people within a culture to particular kinds of critical awareness and action. I conclude by suggesting that this mode of philosophy has a correlate mode of truth, “incited reflectivism,” different from coherentism, foundationalism, warranted assertibility, and other theories that have been previously defended as the standard for “truth.”
philosophy as a way of life, metaphilosophy, Diogenes of Sinope, Cornel West, Pierre Hadot, cynicism, pragmatism
How to cite:
Kramer, Eli. “Philosophical Wandering as a Mode of Philosophy in Cultural Life: From Diogenes of Sinope to Cornel West.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture 2, no. 3(5) (2018): 51–73. https://doi.org/10.26319/5815.
Institute of Philosophy, University of Warsaw
Krakowskie Przedmieście 3, 00-927 Warsaw, Poland
Ælians, Claudius. Various History. Translated by Thomas Stanley. London: Printed for Thomas Basset, at the George, in Fleet-street, near Cliffords- Inne., 1670. Penelope, penelope.uchicago.edu/.
Anderson, Douglas R. “Philosophy as Culture: Getting Rid of the Professional ‘of’ in Philosophy as a Way of Life.” Interview by Eli Kramer. Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture no. 5 (2018 – the current issue).
Anderson, Douglas R. “Royce, Philosophy, and Wandering: A Job Description.” In Philosophy Americana: Making Philosophy at Home in American Culture, 33–49. New York: Fordham University Press, 2006.
Auxier, Randall. “In Vino Veritas.” Southwest Philosophy Review 30, no. 1 (January 2014): 39–66.
Eco, Umberto. Baudolino. Translated by William Weaver. New York: Mariner Books, 2003.
Frodeman, Robert, and Adam Briggle. Socrates Tenured: The Institutions of Twenty-first-century Philosophy. Collective Studies in Knowledge and Society. London: Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016.
Cassirer, Ernst. The Philosophy of Symbolic Forms Volume One: Language. Translated by Ralph Manheim. Yale University Press: New Haven, 1955.
Chase, Michael. “Black Swans, the Brain, and Philosophy as a Way of Life: Pierre Hadot and Nassim Taleb on Ancient Scepticism.” Academia.edu. Accessed, August 9, 2018. https://www.academia.edu/243295/Black_Swans_the_Brain_and_Philosophy_as_a_Way_of_Life_Pierre_ Hadot_and_Nassim_Taleb_on_Ancient_Scepticism.
Clark, William. Academic Charisma and the Origins of the Research University. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2008.
Davidson, Thomas. Aristotle and Ancient Educational Ideals. New York: C. Scribner, 1892.
Diamond, Jared M. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1999.
Dyson, Michael. “The Ghost of Cornel West: What Happened to America’s Most Exciting Black Scholar?” The New Republic, April 20, 2015.
Goodman, Amy, Cornel West, and Tavis Smiley. “Tavis Smiley, Cornel West on the 2012 Election and Why Calling Obama ‘Progressive’ Ignores His Record.” Democracy Now. November 9, 2012. Chicago: Democracynow.org.
Greene II, Robert. “Beyond Dyson and West.” Society for US Intellectual History Blog (blog), April 26, 2015. https://s-usih.org/2015/04/beyond-dyson-and-west/.
Hadot, Pierre. Philosophy as a Way of Life: Spiritual Exercises from Socrates to Foucault, edited by Arnold I. Davidson. Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1995.
Hadot, Pierre. What Is Ancient Philosophy?. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002.
Han Feizi. Han Feizi: Basic Writings. Translated by Burton Watson. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.
Hansen, David T. “Walking with Diogenes: Cosmopolitan Accents in Philosophy and Education.” Philosophy of Education Yearbook 2009. Urbana, IL: Philosophy of Education Society, 2009.
James, William. Pragmatism: a New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking. 2002 . Project Gutenberg, https://www.gutenberg.org/files/5116/5116-h/5116-h.htm.
Knight Abowitz, Kathleen. “Heteroglossia and Philosophers of Education.” Educational Theory 52, no. 3 (Summer 2002): 291–302.
Kramer, Eli. “In Quest of Platonopolis: Excerpts from Research Visits to Philosophical Communities.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture, no. 2 (December 2017): 107–115. doi: 10.26319/2919
Kramer, Eli. “Utopia as the Gift of Ethical Genius: Ernst’s Cassirer’s Theory of Utopia.” Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture, no. 3 (April 2018): 96–108. doi: 10.26319/3910
Laertius, Diogenes. Lives of the Eminent Philosophers. Translated by Pamela Mensch and James Miller. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2018.
Lynch, John Patrick. Aristotle’s School: A Study of a Greek Educational Institution. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972.
McCumber, John. Time in the Ditch: American Philosophy and the McCarthy Era. Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2001.
Montiglio, Silvia. Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2005.
Montiglio, Silvia. “Wandering Philosophers in Classical Greece.” The Journal of Hellenic Studies 120 (2000): 86–105. doi:10.2307/632482.
Nakamura, Hajime. “The Meaning of the Terms ‘Philosophy’ and ‘Religion’ in Various Traditions.” In Interpreting Across Boundaries: New Essays in Comparative Philosophy, edited by Gerald James Larson and Elliot Deutsch, 137–51. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. Untimely Meditations, edited by Daniel Breazaele. Translated by R.J. Hollingdale. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Peirce, Charles Sanders. “Of Reasoning in General.” In The Essential Peirce: Selected Philosophical Writings. The Peirce Edition Project, vol. 2. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1998.
Richard, Rorty. Philosophy as Cultural Politics: Philosophical Papers. Volume 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.
Sartwell, Crispin. Against the State: An Introduction to Anarchist Political Theory. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2008.
Schopenhauer, Arthur. “On Philosophy at the Universities.” In Parerga and Paralipomena, translated by E.F.J. Payne, 137–98. Vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2000.
Sharpe, Matthew, and Michael Ure. Philosophy as a Way of Life: A Primer. London: Bloomsbury Press. Forthcoming.
Smith, Justin E.H.. The Philosopher: A History in Six Types. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016.
West, Cornel. The American Evasion of Philosophy: A Genealogy of Pragmatism. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989.
West, Cornel. Prophetic Thought in Postmodern Times. Vol. 1. Beyond Eurocentrism and Multiculturalism. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1993.
West, Cornel. “Ta-Nehisi Coates Is the Neoliberal Face of the Black Freedom Struggle.” The Guardian, December 17, 2017. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/dec/17/ta-nehisi-coates-neoliberal-black-struggle-cornel-west.
West, Cornel. “Why I Left Harvard University.” The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 47 (Spring 2005): 64–68.
West, Cornel. “William James and Josiah Royce – On the Tragic and Tragicomic: The Relevance of Royce.” Lecture, Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA, May 27, 2007.
Wieseltier, Leon. “All and Nothing at All: The Unreal World of Cornel West.” The New Republic, March 6, 1995.
Yancy, George, and Cornel West. “Cornel West [Interview].” In African-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations, 31–48. New York: Routledge, 1998.
Open Access Statement:
This is an open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author, as long as the author and original source are properly cited. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. Submitting a text to Eidos. A Journal for Philosophy of Culture means that the author agrees with the general conditions of this license. The author does and will maintain copyrights and publishing rights for his/her article without any restrictions.