Summer 1967

Page 43

At first glance, nothing could seem farther apart from contemporary man than philosophy. And if we take philosophy for its caricature, this position seems quite credible, for contemporary man is the man on the move, the activist, the go-go man of the sixties. Philosophy after all traffics in ideas and theories, and who today has time to indulge in such luxuries of the ivory tower? Yet the lie must be given to this appearance and the political analyst, Walter Contemporary man is Lippmann does so when he the search for truth, states: the love of wisdom, "There are those who would philosophy personified. say, using the words of philosophers to prove it, that it is the characteristic illusion of the tender-minded that they GERALD F. KREYCHE believe in philosophy. Those who can, do; those who cannot, teach and theorize. And + being theorists by profession, they exaggerate the efficacy of ideas, which are airy nothings without mass or energy, the mere shadows of the existential world of substance and force, of habits and desires, of machines and armies. "Yet the illusion, if it were one, is inordinately tenacious.