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Yet, ridiculous as it sounds, this is exactly what happens in the philosophology that calls itself philosophy. Students aren’t expected to philosophize. Their instructors would hardly know what to say if they did. They’d probably compare the student’s writing to Mill or Kant or somebody like that, find the student’s work grossly inferior, and tell him to abandon it. As a student Phaedrus had been warned that he would “come a cropper” if he got too attached to any philosophical ideas of his own.

Literature, musicology, art history and philosophology thrive in academic institutions because they are easy to teach.

You just Xerox something some philosopher has said and make the students discuss it, make them memorize it, and then flunk them at the end of the quarter if they forget it. Actual painting, music composition and creative writing are almost impossible to teach and so barely get in the academic door. True philosophy doesn’t get in at all. Philosophologists often have an interest in creating philosophy but, as philosophologists, they subordinate it, much as a literary scholar might subordinate his own interest in creative writing. Unless they are exceptional they don’t consider the creation of philosophy their real line of work.

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fiction, mind, translation