Today we will be interviewing Dr. R, world-renowned philosopher, writer, and professor.
What are your thoughts on existentialism?
Well as you know, Existentialism is a philosophical movement that is generally considered a study that pursues meaning in existence and seeks value for the existing individual. Existentialism, unlike other fields of philosophy, does not treat the individual as a concept, and values individual subjectivity over objectivity. As a result, questions regarding the meaning of life and subjective experience are seen as being of paramount importance, above all other scientific and philosophical pursuits. I love the idea that, Existentialism emphasizes action, freedom, and decision as fundamental to human existence and is fundamentally opposed to the rationalist tradition and to positivism.
Can you elaborate on that a bit?
Well, as a philosophy it argues against definitions of human beings either as primarily rational, knowing beings who relate to reality primarily as an object of knowledge, or for whom action can or ought to be regulated by rational principles, or as beings who can be defined in terms of their behavior as it looks to or is studied by others. More generally it rejects all of the Western rationalist definitions of being in terms of a rational principle or essence or as the most general feature that all existing things share in common. Existentialism tends to view human beings as subjects in an indifferent, objective, often ambiguous, and "absurd" universe in which meaning is not provided by the natural order, but rather can be created, however provisionally and unstably, by human beings' actions and interpretations.
You seem to be quiet well-read for only being six-weeks-old. What do you attribute this to?
It's actually "to what do you attribute this," but please do let us move on. Well, to start, my parents exposed me to many ideas early on. While my peers were worried about keeping their neck staright or not drooling all over themselves, I was lookng over my father's shoulder as he read.
What types of things did you observe?
He was reading about Rousseau and how he contended that man was good by nature, a "noble savage" when in the state of nature (the state of all the "other animals", and the condition humankind was in before the creation of civilization and society), but is corrupted by society. He viewed society as artificial and held that the development of society, especially the growth of social interdependence, has been inimical to the well-being of human beings.
I liked these idea early on.
Any final words?
I just want to remind all the other babies out there, that life is more than just diapers and bottles. While my father would argue that I should enjoy being a baby and worry too much about philosophy, I would just remind him that it is in my blood to question and understand my place in the universe. I am, after all, his flesh and blood.