Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does. Everything has been figured out, except how to live. One always dies too soon or too late. And yet, life is there, finished. The line is drawn, and it must all be added up. You are nothing other than your life. There is only one day left, always starting over. It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk. We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are, that is the fact. When you live alone you no longer know what it is to tell a story: the plausible disappears at the same time as the friends. You let events flow by too.Suddenly you see people appear who speak and then go away; you plunge into stories of which you can't make head or tail. You'd make a terrible witness. It is true that people who live in society have learned how to see themselves in mirrors as they appear to their friends. Luckily, I only have a few...

Dr Shaw is a lecturer in Further Education at Edge Hill University, Ormskirk. She also offers philosophy courses at the School of Continuing Education, Lifelong learning, at the University of Liverpool. In 2015, she has completed her Doctorate in philosophy with a focus on existentialism, the equilibrium doctrine and narrative. She has worked as a teacher of English and Comparative literature and Philosophy at The American University in Cairo, Egypt where she also obtained her BA (Hons). Dr Shaw has an MA in Philosophy and Literature from the University of East Anglia where she also taught on a number of humanities subjects. Whilst working in North Wales in Further education, she gained a PGCE aimed at teaching in FE and HE sectors. Dr Shaw moved to Liverpool in 2010 where she now resides.

Interests: Existentialism, Narrative, Comparative Literature, Feminist Thought, Public Speaking, Arab Existentialism, Philosophy of Education, Art, Music, Film and Theatre, Greek Mythology, Existential counsellor and psychotherapist.


Monday, 11 November 2013

Are they elitist philosophers?

Even though one may sense a sense of elitism within the philosophical arena there has been no arguments in the past to support that the field is full of elitists. In fact, from my observations of philosophers today they seem to be pretty much divided into the odd groups of philosophers with a rather scruffy look to them and obscure behavior OR those who are unapproachable and only talk to those they believe are worth of their company. This again is a speculation and I have not yet found any evidence to say that philosophers are elitists regardless of one's urge to want to say so. I guess it can be said of people from any field of academia really. The whole academic stage is full of mixed people from mixed backgrounds. Now I read that some people believe that Nietzsche's ubermensch is the ultimate elite, as is the entire conception of the Master v. the Slave. And Thomas Hobbes was a strident monarchist while Edmund Burke was a proponent of English monarchy. Now the factors leading to elitism are inhumanity, slavery, civil war, intolerance, poverty, class inequality, male dominator culture, arrogance, discrimination, prejudice and so on. This is not to say however that elitist philosophers or those who have such advantages are the ones who succeed in their message. In fact I would like to believe today, from all the experiences and observations that I had in the past, the those who will remain at the end of the day are the "ordinary" philosophers who will be able to explain to you in a layman style whatever you would like to know about human nature, life and moral choices for instance. It is true that philosophy is the most important subject, to me perhaps. This is because it address issues that no other subject is capable of addressing, issues that are so dear to you, as a human being, as a person in society, as a man or a woman. Philosophy talks to us and about us. I cannot imagine any other subject that would be able to convey all my being in the same way. But then again I wonder why some avoid it, misunderstand it to be something it is not, or even ignore it. Those who do that are lost in their own world and are afraid of what philosophy is really all about. And for this reason, I would like to believe that the ordinary philosopher will be the one who continues to exists because he will be always understood, appreciated and needed.

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