Intentionally Incomprehensible: Intro To Philosophy

It’s almost the end of the semester and it’s time to finally talk about “what is philosophy?” in my classes, partly because there’s enough sense of what students have been reading, partly because I like to get all misty-eyed and reflective by the end of the class to cover over my exhaustion from all the intellectual efforts that a 15-week semester requires… This is the time when someone will inevitably ask me about whether so-and-so is/was “intentionally obtuse/difficult” – and I will of course try my best to explain that so-and-so was dealing with complex issues or was not writing for beginners or was writing for a different type of a beginner – but every time I wonder: What is so horribly wrong with being intentionally incomprehensible? Continue reading