The Philosophy of Philosophy

I’ve been having a load of fun over the last few days recovering from a fluey bug I caught last week (thanks dad) and doing my references for a philosophy essay. I’m determined that this time I’ll actually know what the references are about rather than just skimming the first page like I usually do, so I’ve been reading all the way through and making notes to refer to for the essay. It’s 100% coursework, OK, there isn’t an exam for this module (!!!) so I really need to do well.

I think my least favourite part of it was the part where two of the books only exist as hard copies in the library at RHUL, 40 minutes away from home. Thank god I realised before I went up to Yorkshire, because there’s just something about a 4 hour drive to the library that doesn’t appeal, you know? As it was I had to spend half an hour checking the same damn shelf because I’d mixed the two books up and I was looking for the wrong three letter code.

Anyway, the question I’ve chosen is about knowledge in art. Can art give us knowledge? My instinctive answer is, of course it can! But I’m starting to think that maybe that knee-jerk reaction might not be entirely correct. In fact – and this is a good one, I’m thinking I might throw something like this in – the mere assumption that artistic quality has to be associated with cognitive brilliance is indicative of the privileging of intellectuality inherent in European society. This elitism regarding standards of media possibly limits our appreciation of art to that which is ‘traditionally’ cognitively brilliant. tl;dr: we think stuff has to be clever to be high quality, but maybe it doesn’t.

Wow that paragraph was a mouthful. almost as much of a mouthful as some of these readings. Well, I’d better get back to it. Lamarque isn’t going to read himself…


Look ma, I’m doing an internet!

It’s strange to think how much things have changed since I was smaller. I can still remember when all our computer was really for was gruelling minesweeper marathons. If you wanted to play anything more sophisticated than solitaire, there was the Super Nintendo (SNES, I think. But I’ve never been entirely certain) which we had three games for; LoZ: Link to the Past, Mario Kart, and some Starfox game. Just three! And we never got bored, or at least I don’t think we did.

Today I am significantly taller, in possession of three games consoles and I-don’t-even-know –how-many games. I think I could survive without those things though. After all, I have my books. What more do I need? What else is there? All I need is my Kindle (and yes, the real paperback books on my bookshelf/in piles on my floor) and internet connection –

Ah. Yes. That.

The ever present internet.

When did it become so vital? Did I just blink and miss the part where computers  took over the entire world? (Apart, obviously, from the places where they don’t have computers. Not to worry, trusty Western civilisation is on hand to spread the laptops all over the planet! No, don’t thank us. We’re glad to do it.) If computers were missiles, I would have a missile on my lap right now.

Anyway. My point was that everyone is on the internet. I’m pretty sure everyone I know has their own computer (of some kind. For the purposes of this conversation if they have a laptop they basically have a computer. Although, how does one categorise the people who have a computer and a laptop? Oh, and the PC/Apple thing is as stupid as it gets. It’s like saying, I wear coats and he wears jackets so we’re wearing different clothes. No. Bad. Blimey, this is a long parenthesis), and they all have internet connection, although even if they didn’t they could get on the internet using the power of smart phones. Am I the only one who’s slightly weirded out by a phone that’s basically a computer? No? Just me then…

It’s like in that short story by Neil Gaiman, where the whole world gets completely engrossed in this computer game and the entire human race dies out because everyone’s forgetting to eat food and go to the toilet. Maybe one day we’ll all just be husks, sitting at our desks and typing away madly until we run out of electricity.

Speaking of which, I’d better go and have some breakfast.