The Risks of (Doing) Philosophy

Abstract

Philosophizing is at risk in the face of dogmatism, either political or religious. In political and/or religious circumstances where freedom of expression is curtailed, the risk of critical and discursive philosophizing (pursued both analytically and synthetically) is extremely far above the ground. As a case in point, getting into a balanced critical and appreciative philosophical deliberation (reflection and discourse) on the Israeli-Palestinian political conflicts and controversies right inside Israel with politically fired-up Israelis both intellectual and non-intellectual alike is a risky engagement. What is specifically tolerable in such a particular context is ¨imbalanced philosophizing¨ (which is an oxymoron) wherein one is only allowed to DISCURSIVELY APPRECIATE the merits of just one side of the political divide over the other and never to be critical of the downsides discovered on the same side. Of course, the other philosophical operation of REFLECTIVE CRITICISM doesn´t get apparent, much less obvious, in such condition as it is forbidden to see the light of day. The risk lies in an open defiance of the restriction and could even be a matter of life and death. Similar to this was the situation in the erstwhile Soviet Union and its Eastern European satellites during the so-called Cold War era. Discursive criticism even within the strict purview of philosophical analysis and synthesis of certain political principles and theories operative within the system was a proscribed exercise whose violation could put involved individuals in a gulag, a mental asylum or at worst before a firing squad.

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