A Classification of Academic Philosophers


Below follows a classification of academic philosophers. With ‘academic philosophers’ is meant here people that graduated or study at a philosophical faculty of an acknowledged university. Philosophers from different classes can within such a faculty be met.

The first to be mentioned class of academic philosophers regards that of the non-philosophers. The non-philosopher participates in the academic philosophical educational program without much interest in the content. He busies himself mainly with side cases. It is remarkable but within the faculty of philosophy do people adjourn who seem to be more interested in philosophers and their careers than in philosophies themselves. That interest is sometimes not even limited to the well-known world philosophers but encompasses in those cases even the personages that on that moment are working within the regarded faculty.

The second class regards that of the pseudo-philosophers. They may look like philosophers but actually aren’t. The name ‘philosophy’ indicates etymologically a love for wisdom. However pseudo-philosophers do not have love for wisdom but rather desire for wisdom. A desire that also led to the Dutch pseudo-translation of ‘wise-desire’ [in Dutch ‘wijsbegeerte’] for ‘philosophy’. Pseudo-philosophers thus desire wisdom and desire to be considered as wise. This is also the category that in philosophy only seeks arguments to win debates. These pseudo-philosophers are in classical philosophy also known as ‘sophists’.

A third class regards the class of sub-philosophers. Sub-philosophers do love wisdom, but that love ends in the embrace of a specific philosophy which for them then represents that wisdom fully. It shall be clear that with the finding of a supposed conceptual wisdom the seeking for further wisdom shall stop. One seeks, one thinks to find, and with that imaginary found wisdom the seeking stops.

The fourth class regards the true philosopher. The true philosopher loves wisdom, and this continuously. He studies many philosophies, but not to remain with them for too long. He rather uses them as steps on the stairs up to wisdom. The true philosopher realises that every philosophy in its conceptuality is too limited to encompass wisdom fully and thus uses it instead of adoring it.

Conclusively a fifth class can be mentioned, namely that of the supra-philosophers. For the supra-philosopher philosophy served him well, but he doesn’t need it anymore. The supra-philosopher has reached and realised wisdom. He embodies himself both love and wisdom. It is however not likely that we nowadays shall meet any one of those in the philosophical faculties of universities.