Quite unlike any other, philosophy is a form of writing that engenders itself toward a special form of awkwardness. This is the awkwardness of philosophy itself: of the grand gesture to turn inwards (Heraclitus: “I searched my nature”), breaking down all that culture and life has imposed upon the pre-reflective self, only to produce concepts with nothing more than a contingent relation to the everyday world.
Awkwardness that leads to inwardness? Inwardness to legitimacy? Dylan poses a number of questions that he does not really intend on answering, just sort of pronouncing them and leaving them be which propels me to address them somewhat tangentially. As I said before, I think that conceiving of solitude as anything philosophically interesting or potent is rather naive for a following reason: indeed awkwardness seems to be the force that pushes one into seclusion, therefore the brave self-imposed solitary philosopher is in fact a victim of his/her own social inadequacy, it seems. “I’m an island, I have my books” is not a real solitude, it’s an unfortunate consequence of being a nerd. How many can honestly say that their solitute is self-imposed or a sacrifice of some sort? And even then, I don’t think there’s anything specifically philosophical about solitude, is there?
Awkwardness produces an illusion of inwardness, it seems, and then an illusion of profundity – “he spends all his time alone, staring into the fog on the top of the mountain, he must be profound, otherwise he wouldn’t be able to spend so much time with himself” – fusing oneself with one’s writing then is a necessary coping mechanism, is it not?
The philosophy of Stoicism, practised in the public arena of the Stoa, is inextricably bound with the act of walking. And indeed Greek philosophy more broadly is surrounded by the halo of thinkers who walk. Yet this motion remains incomplete without attending to the gesture of standing after walking.
Thinkers who walk are sort of ideal philosophers as they seem to lack patience to stand/think in one place. I wonder where Socrates fits in here? He was known to suddently stop and stand for hours while being confronted by his “daimon” – is Socratic standing here an ultimate figure of philosophical stupor/block or is it a figure of profound philosophical insight? While reading Dylan’s post on standing and how often philosopher’s presence in the class/room “remains unaffected by their thoughts” I remembered a talk by Jean-Luc Nancy I had a chance to hear a couple of months ago – I swear to god it was the most boring talk by any person I have ever experienced in my entire life! In any case, I thought I’d just point out Dylan’s posts as I thought there were quite insightful.