I was thinking of the role of the philosopher tonight as someone who “disturbs people’s meanings.” Do you know what that makes a philosopher? A pain in the ass, that’s what.
No one wants to be stopped and questioned. And yet, this questioning can make people pause, contemplate the perhaps stupid meanings they harbor, see their meanings as possibly stupid, and change. This change can make the world a better place. This change can make a life lived better. But no! Shut up, Mr. Philosopher! We will kill you like we killed Jesus and Socrates! We don’t want to question our meanings or our behaviors! Get out of the way, even if it makes a more hostile world for our kids! Only the philosopher enjoys having others question his meanings. He is an alien amongst aliens. The next time you see a philosopher by the side of the road, punch him!