“The unexamined life is not worth living,” Plato says in Line 38A of the Apology. How do you examine yourself? What happens when you interrogate yourself? What happens when you begin to call into question your tacit assumptions and unarticulated presuppositions, and begin then to become a different kind of person?
Philosophy is fundamentally about our finite situation. We can define that in terms of we’re beings toward death, and we’re featherless, two-legged, linguistically conscious creatures born between urine and feces whose body will one day be the culinary delight of terrestrial worms. That’s us. We’re beings toward death. At the same time, we have desire while we are organisms in space and time, and so it’s desire in the face of death. And then of course, you’ve got dogmatism, various attempts to hold on to certainty,various forms of idolatry, and you’ve got dialogue in the face of dogmatism. And then of course, structurally and institutionally you have domination and you have democracy. You have attempts of people tying to render accountable…elites, kings, queens, suzerians, corporate elites, politicians, trying to make these elites accountable to eveyday people.So philosophy itself becomes a critical disposition of wrestling with desire in the face of death, wrestling with dialogue in the face of- of dogmatism, and wrestling with democracy- trying to keep alive very fragile democratic experiments- in the face of structures of domination; patriarchy, white supremacy, imperial power, state power. All those concentrated forms of power that are not accountable to people who are affected by them.