If philosophy was practiced in the ancient Athenian marketplace, it can be practiced here. Some ideas require book-length treatment; others don’t. This forum is for smaller, everyday reflections that are not likely to make it into a book but that might be worth expressing—such is my hope—for the interest and reading pleasure of anyone who wonders about some elementary questions of human existence or who is living what’s called “the examined life.” Philosophy can be done in the street, in everyday conversation, and anywhere else. It doesn’t only happen in books, scholarly journals, and university classrooms.
The obligatory credentials (one mustn’t think without a license): I am a Professor of Philosophy at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON Canada. I received a Ph.D. from McMaster University in 1995 and since then I’ve written a number of books and essays, edited some anthologies, etc. A philosopher is someone who’s trying (I emphasize trying) to understand what’s happening, who we are, what things mean, and how we should be living.
The philosophers I revere were all free spirits, sometimes working within a school and sometimes not. Marcus Aurelius had his Meditations; Michel de Montaigne had his Essays; John Dewey often wrote for newspapers and magazines; and there are many other examples of serious thinkers thinking outside the box, so to speak, sometimes in unusual forms and places. They were masters, of course—trying to shed a bit of light on the human condition one piece at a time. It’s in that tradition that I am writing here. Philosophers sometimes think big, and at other times in a more piecemeal way. It’s the latter that I’ll be doing here.
For more information, see my more “academic” site: www.paulfairfield.com