Instead of “Philosophy is X”, try “This is the kind of philosophy I find interesting.” In place of essentializing, affirm your own preferences.

Doesn’t this make philosophy subjective? Just a matter of whatever anyone wants it to be? What if one says, “Philosophy is cooking”, or “Philosophy is gibberish”? Surely, these are objectively wrong?

Why surely? And why do we need it to be wrong, let alone objectively so?

I don’t breathe because breathing is good. If someone says, “Breathing is over-rated”, do I need to prove him wrong to feel confident in my breathing?

I breathe because I do. I don’t end my life because I don’t want to. To live I don’t have to show dying is wrong. Or Suicide is a mistake. We don’t choose by eliminating every alternative. We don’t have to.

In order to think how I want, I don’t need to fit it into a category first (philosophy, analytic philosophy, religious philosophy, spirituality), then defend that category against objections (why “religious philosophy” is not an oxymoron), and then – having secured the foundation – go on to think that way.

Courage is required to say: I do this because I want to. I am open to objections, but not constrained by them. I give others the same freedom I take in pursuing my path. I wish well those who choose a different path. And when we try to reach the same audience, may each try their best – and people respond as they will.

4 thoughts on “Courage”

  1. Hello Bharath,

    Great to see you are still blogging. Since I hadn’t received any posts from you in a while, I was beginning to get worried, given the current situation.


    1. Thanks. Things are fine here. Hope you are well. The break in my blogging is because I sense a change in the way I want to blog – the kind of writing I want to do. Less essay style, more short pieces which capture something specific, and is more evocative. This kind of writing is not natural to me, so just letting it come as it does.


      1. Quite the contrary, I prefer your new style. It’s freer and less academic. Maybe you’re discovering your voice, so to speak.

        I say that because just this morning I was discussing Beethoven with my son, who has two degrees in music, about how at a certain point in his career Beethoven discovers his voice, becomes Beethoven, not just a rather talented and easily over-looked late 18th century/early 19th century composer.


        1. I hope so. That’s nice to hear. I often feel stuck in between academia and outside academia, my voice struggling to find itself. I suppose the only thing to do is to push through, and keep writing without being too self critical. Like learning a language, it might come together after a time of grunts and baby talk. 🙂


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