In the early part of the 17th century, Rene Descartes began a quest to find something he could believe in with absolute certainty. He began as the epitome of skepticism, doubting everything. He eventually concluded that, though it was certainly not a given, he did in fact exist. He then penned what is possibly the most recognized philosophical quote of all time; “I think therefore I am.”
Serious philosophers are just that. Thomas Hobbes said that life is “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.” Sure, you’ve heard many a college professor laud Nietzsche’s “God is dead” as ground breaking. Yet our pal Friedrich was severely depressed and died paralyzed and with severe dementia brought on by syphillis. Take that hedonism.
The history of philosophy and those who claim it’s name is filled with depressed, depraved, suicidal, mentally ill, nut jobs. In fact, in all areas of life it would seem that the more intelligent you are the more depressed you are. The two are nearly synonymous. Without proper guidance, understanding what your philosophy professor is telling you will leave you a depressed and confused mess. Just stay away. Ignorance is bliss. Just ask your dog.
With that said, I would like to introduce a new series of posts entitled Basement Philosophy.
I was thinking about different directions I could go with my writing, when it hit me. The unexamined life is not worth living. That’s good I thought to myself. I should write that down and share it with the world.
We will take a look various philosophers and their ideas to see which of them hold up and which we can laugh at. Because as I always say, we should laugh at those who disagree with us. Write that down.
By taking even this whimsical look at the history of philosophy we can only hope that our depression will increase, as it will probably mean that we are getting smarter. Which is all that matters.
Hold it you say? That’s not true? Someone once said “Be as smart as you can, but remember that it is always better to be wise than to be smart.” Sounds good, doesn’t it? What great philosopher said that you ask? Plato? Aristotle? Kant? No, it was Alan Alda and should be disregarded entirely.
See? We’re learning things already. The sky is already a little less blue, and the flowers aroma has lost a tiny bit of it’s sweetness.
I hope I have sufficiently whetted your appetite.