The best philosophers of our century suffer from a com mon deficiency of expression. They seem bent upon making an already difficult message all but unintelligible by irritating mannerisms of style. For example, in Wittgenstein we meet a barrage of epigrammatic cryptography suited only for the Oxbridge market; in Heidegger truth is subordinated to alliteration and to a cunning desire to anger the reader by histrionic displays of German archaisms; Ortega would bury his finest insights in prefaces to his friends’ collections of Andalusian poems or in Sunday supplements of Argentine dailies, while feeding the grand public a dubious Kitsch calculated to keep himself financially afloat; Croce would use his pen to fly away from unpleasant Fascist reality into the anecdotes of the Kingdom of Naples of yore; Nicolai Hartmann was subject to attacks of graphomania; and so on, all the way to Sartre. Small wonder that the intellectual public, repelled by such antics, should fall into the arms of a demimonde of facile simplifiers and sweeping generalizers. The Russells, the Spenglers, the Toynbees, and their third-rate cohorts have lowered the understanding of philosophy to a level unseen since the seventh century.
KeywordsIntellectual Public Seventh Century Physiological Explanation Intellectual Dishonesty Facile Simplifier
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