I loved a feature that was in the 2nd quarter issue [of The Philosopher's Magazine]—a group of autobiographical essays called “Becoming a Philosopher”. I often wonder how people wind up where they do. And not just philosophers, of course. Somebody starts a business selling washing machine parts. Why?
I loved the series because philosophers so often pretend to be disembodied souls just peering into the universe. Telling your story is definitely forbidden in the highest reaches of the ivory tower—like the most prestigious philosophy journals.
But it’s not unheard of. I’m reading the book Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and Secular Life, edited by Louise Antony, and it’s full of life stories. Louise (I know her from way back…) asked authors to talk about not just their non-belief, but how it grew within their lives and what role it plays.
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