Copenhagen – Two philosophers based in Denmark have apparently come up with a proof that shows that philosophy doesn’t exist and their discovery is rocking the philosophical community. For centuries, philosophy has been at the core of just about every discipline and has provided a foundation for most of Western thought. From Plato to Kripke, philosophers have been tackling the universe’s toughest problems. But in 2012 Dr. Soren Filosht and another thinker who wants to be known only as “Dagmar” have developed a complex argument that ostensibly shows that philosophy is merely the product of wishful thinking and has no basis in reality.
The two Danes are arguing that disciplines like metaphysics and epistemology are a crutch that the weak-minded have used to better understand the world. And their proof casts serious doubt on whether these things actually exist. “It’s necessarily true that everything is just real and reality consists of properties, relations, sets, and facts and you can study them. No metaphysics required.” claims Dagmar. Epistemology too is a chimera and these thinkers are calling on all philosophers to give it up. “Look, we just know stuff. If you are justified in believing a statement is true, then you know it. People who believe they’re doing ‘epistemology’ just confuse the matter and the sooner they come to believe that, the better off we’ll all be.”
They developed their proof while sampling the wide variety of local plant life in Christiana (a small community inside of Copenhagen). As with most discoveries of this kind, they weren’t looking for it. They were functioning as working philosophers developing a paper that attempted to show that Kripke’s possible worlds have no basis in anything actual. “We were close. Real close.” Dagmar recalls. “Then we got a brainwave, as if we were in some kind of psychotic hallucination.” Not only are possible worlds not actual, they hit upon a the striking fact that philosophy itself isn’t real. “We kind of felt like modern-day Descarteses; we thought philosophy out of existence: cogito ergo non philosophia.” Filosht added, visibly shaken as he spoke.
Perhaps the most significant outcome of their discovery is the claim that logic has no place in the life of a rational person. “Logic is bullshit,” argues Filosht “and we can prove it. If you attempt to get at reality using the rules of logic, then you will not be getting at reality at all. Most philosophers attempt to get at reality using logic. It should be clear then that they’re not getting at reality at all! It’s so simple, I’m embarrassed that we didn’t see it until now.”
The Danes have begun working through the legal system in Europe in an attempt to remove all philosophy books from public schools and course curricula. “It’s immoral that we’re teaching ethics to all these impressionable minds. Teachers approach the subject as if ethics means something and that’s just wrong given what we’ve discovered.” Politicians seem willing partners in this effort. Most of the politicians the philosophers have discussed this with have never heard of philosophy and the notion of thinking about problems was foreign to many. Still, the politicians agreed that if people were using public money to teach an idea that has now been shown to be false, they would throw their hat in the ring to put a stop to it.
Interior minister Hans Mikkelsen is leading the charge on this project. “Haven’t you heard that the state should be separate?” he exclaimed at a news conference. When asked what the state should be separate from, Mikkelson pointed to his head and said, “Exactly.” The minister was appalled when he opened a logic book (his first time) and found the disjunction symbol. “Looks like the Devil’s widows peak if you ask me.” He also added that the conditional symbol is “far too phallic” for his tastes and added, “Hitler must have studied logic.” He admitted that he didn’t really understand Filosht and Dagmar’s proof but now that he’s seen what schoolchildren are being exposed to, it doesn’t matter. “I was like Play Dough, making shadow puppets on the wall of the cave, but my eyes have been opened. It’s the third day and time to resurrect the prisoners.” he said.
Filosht and Dagmar have not convinced everyone that their proof is sound. English thinker Dr. Bernard Quinn questions their motivation claiming that philosophy has been under attack for centuries. “Socrates was given the Hemlock for corrupting the youth with his teachings. Do these two think Socrates drank that Hemlock for nothing?” When asked about their proof, Quinn admitted that he believes there’s a simple logical problem somewhere but he has yet to find it. “Arguments like these are tricky and subtle. But given enough time, someone will find the error in their reasoning.”
American philosopher John “Supabad” Johnson also demurs. He recently wrote a paper titled “Denmark’s Dagmar is Dumb(ing Down Society)” noting that he added the parenthetical to avoid an ad hominem. The paper attempts to show how Dagmar’s supporting argument, which is designed to demonstrate the non-existence of the peer review process, lacks adequate support from the philosophical community. Johnson’s core argument centers around the claim that Dagmar’s thesis appears to be made up and that the lack of any footnotes or a bibliography should create a skeptical response in her readers (though Johnson admits his argument is only probabilistic). Johnson’s paper is currently in peer review and he expects it to be available sometime towards the end of 2014.
Other philosophers are taking a more practical approach. Sim Shipping of the University of Washington heads the XPhi program there and is nonplussed by the work coming out of Denmark. “I’m just going to keep philosophizing. I don’t see how it hurts anyone.” Shipping argues that philosophizing is a personal matter and that arguments against its existence are beside the point. “It’s a first-person subjective experience and most likely properly basic. I don’t need an argument that it exists.” he added.
Filosht and Dagmar will continue to tell their story and work to change people’s thinking on the matter but have already looked beyond this issue to their next project. When asked what that would be, Dagmar replied, “We’re thinking long and hard about that.”
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