Waisi Analysis

Aati: Your philosophical nature stems from more than just intellectual or spiritual yearning... [it also stems from] A quest for Identity. Philosophy is also a way for you to distinguish yourself from others, and its charm reduces if it loses that function, even if the other roles it serves in your life increase. Boy, in a way, the world is lucky so many insist on ignorance :P If everyone had been an intellectual, mild-mannered creative type forever thinking, your ego might have driven you to carve out a 'radically' different unique identity by becoming an anti-intellectual brash self-righteous hick type barely aware of his brain. Haha, I'm already trying to imagine you as that! And I can't. :P
Me: What if i had become a reluctant conformist in such a case? :)
Aati: Who would secretly blog about the pleasures of vegging out, and long to be a public ignoramus? :P
Me: Hahaha! Now that does sound like me! :D


Butters said…
Is anyone an intellectual for egoistic reasons? I know I certainly am not.

I think genuine philosophers (and I put you in this category) seek out truth for its own sake. It's a characteristic of the higher mind (not the egoistic mind).
F. said…
I partly agree with you because the purpose of philosophy is to seek the truth for its own sake. That is the higher, truly intellectual aspect of philosophy. I personally believe it's also spiritual.
However, 'philosophy' and 'philosopher' are not the same thing. One is abstract, ideal, theoretical, a thought or a way of thinking. The other is flesh and blood, life and experience, an individual and a member of a wider community.
You can't really be a philosopher till you appreciate the importance of truth but at the same time, a philosopher does not cease to be human. (Philosophers are the human face of philosophy but not philosophy itself.) As a human being, a philosopher seeks just as much to establish a personal identity--this can even sometimes be reflected in the kind of philosophy they are drawn to--and the ego plays a role in this. Some people establish their identity based on similarities, many others rely on differences to get an idea of 'who' they are.
I don't see anything wrong with an ego (philosophers aren't lean mean thinking machines, and I like it that way) provided it isn't allowed to usurp the place of truth.
Butters said…
@ F

I agree with your characterization of philosophers, but I'm still not convinced that their ego influences their philosophy, or even their being philosophers in the first place.

They negotiate other aspects of their personal identity and life, but I think aspiring for philosophical wisdom (which is spiritual, though it's one level of spiritual understanding... one must go beyond philosophy, eventually, to progress spiritually) is not itself motivated by the ego. I think it's motivated by the higher intellect, free from the ego's influence.

What I'm saying is just based on my own introspection, and I have no way of proving it of course :P.