How to be a Philosopher

Metaphysics is said to have gotten its name because it was the chapter after Physics in the Aristotelian textbook. In the classical viewpoint, the distinction between philosophy and science was not so clear as we try to make it today. People just tried to think their way to the truth.

These days, the growth of knowledge is so extraordinary that one person, or even one university, can hardly keep up. Even one area of knowledge can split into thousands of specializations (and more with every doctoral dissertation).

So how can person be a philosopher today? In the era of specialization, the philosopher must be the generalist, crossing all disciplines to coordinate and synthesize the specialized knowledge, using both analysis and imagination to create something approaching understanding. If language must be created to support that understanding, it is the philosopher’s job to apply the language both consistently and critically.

So, with that in mind, let’s talk about the philosophy of comedy.