The midterm today was easier than expected; just one essay in 50 minutes on Greek philosopher Plato and Hobbes’ “Leviathan”. It was for a level 200 Political Philosophy class (it’s a required course). For some reason I am naturally good at philosophy. I took a Philosophy class once and didn’t do a single reading, yet got 20% higher than the rest of the 300 people class. Ethics and reasoning and arguing is what it basically is…. also tons of overthinking. In that class I had to argue where personal identification lies for the final paper: is it in the brain or physically?
Of course our first thought is the brain, but other people identify us and recognize us by our physical features. Our physical features, such as male/female parts make up gender roles and thus we are forced to behave in certain ways. Nevertheless, there is not right answer in philosophy. Everything depends on how you argue and tons, TONS of overthinking at 2am on a sleep deprived mind. My secret to writing immensely successful philosophy papers was to do them at 2am when the mind starts being weird and thinking becomes disoriented. Philosophy requires the disorienting the mind. That is why I enjoy it (the fact that I am good at it is also questionable due to mental health reasons… my prof had quite a few mental illnesses that she was open to the class about and she says that it is the profession). In fact my professor said “do not do philosophy unless you want to develop anxiety like me!! I get no sleep at night, look at my eyebags, because I do not know if I exist or not!!”, which she said on the first day of school. It scarred me for life and she looked dead serious about it.
I wonder if there is a correlation between good philosophers and mental health issues. If being a philosopher is a viable profession, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, philosophy is useless in this money-driven, capitalist society that doesn’t value critical thinking and criticism.