The meaning of philosophy
In “Mutual discovery, at the end of tunnel”
A novel by
Antoine Archange Raphael
Marie and Bernard are very grateful to philosophy; for, thanks to it, they have forgotten their hatred to the alluring nature of a good philosophical dialogue.
Indeed, Marie and Bernard have just discovered that, like music, philosophy represents a universal language.
In other words, philosophy, despite the staggering multiplication of means of entertainment, has never stopped being an activity so natural that Karl Jasper states that it is accessible to everybody.
Overall, philosophy does not develop without any contact with the outside world.
Actually, the elements of reality set it in motion.
All around the philosopher real people exist, who are not figments of his imagination. A great majority of them suffer want. Others manage and hold on to their dreams in the bosom of society. Others accumulate great wealth and ensure inordinate power. Knowledge widens intellectual and technological horizons, next to civil and international wars, crimes, injustice, and dire poverty.
On the one hand, the picture of the space shuttle, a billion dollar project, shines on the televised media; on the other hand, the picture of long lines of people with empty boxes saddens, awaiting free food.
On the one hand, governments, with an array of experts, make people’s life hell; on the other hand, one individual tries to be a solace to millions of people throughout the planet.
A very pressing imbroglio draws the philosopher’s attention. Thus, his observations do nothing but awaken his readers and listeners’ awareness of what has been vague in their mind or not limpid enough.
For the sake of argument, Bernard and Mary, throughout their dialogue raise some of the questions capable of setting philosophy in motion.
Why are there so many unsolved problems on our planet, while science proclaims a high degree of sophistication? While scientific methodology has acquired broad acceptance in other spheres of human activities?
How can we explain people’s sufferings, while various types of alleged revolutionary thoughts have reached the remotest places in the world, thanks to the means of communication advancement?
How can we comprehend the widespread animosity, while religious sects and other moralizing groups have been spreading precepts of social graces or manners throughout the world?
Why are there so many problems on our planet, despite our claims to have reached a high level of civilization?
Have we really made any progress in the field of morality, religion, science, art and philosophy? If yes, what is it? If no, then, we must conclude that human nature is a mystery.
Are we the slaves of our brains, to such a part, we wouldn’t hesitate to cause so many tragedies throughout the planet?
Can't we do anything to orient the power of our brains toward constructive actions?
For, Bernard and Marie can't conceive of these manufactured calamities without picturing the cerebral processes leading to them: their conception, the possible deliberation on them and their execution.
How can we stop, some point in time, to carry out our deadly endeavors?
Thus, we understand the kind of mixed reception received by the philosopher, a “perpetual worrier” : some warmly welcome him; others loathe him; many think he is crazy.
Marie and Bernard, after raising these troubling questions, draw the conclusion that their personal disagreement, compared to the world miseries, represents a trifle. Thus, at the end, they fall in love.
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