2012 is over.
We’ve only been a few days into 2013 and I’ve discovered that the new year has revealed a new problem.
I can’t talk to people.
Actually, I’ve known this for years.
That’s not exactly right. Let me correct myself. I mean, I can speak – my vocal cords work and whatnot. I can make sound and say words. It’s just that for the past few years I’ve spent so much time writing, talking about, and thinking of philosophy that when it comes to the act of simple chit chat, it’s a no-can-do for me.
All I talk about is, ugh! philosophy.
As a result, I think I’ve become the most boring person, ever.
When I speak people this is what happens:
And as a result of that, I’ve decided my New Year’s resolution. I’ve resolved to become an INTERESTING, DYNAMIC, NOT-SOCIALLY AWKWARD PERSON.
By the end of 2013, I’ve resolved to be less like me and more like this:
Yeah, I know. I’m a philosopher. Good luck with that.
However, as much as I truly desire to become as exciting as Diamond Dave in any conversation, I realize that I’ve got one big problem – I can’t stop talking about philosophy. No, really. I can’t – it’s like I have a compulsion – a moral imperative that I do. You see, the (great) German philosopher Immanuel Kant wrote that if one has a talent like intelligence, judgment, or wit (regrettably a quality I lack) we are obligated to use that talent. It is our imperative to do so. Kant writes:
A third finds himself a talent which could, by means of some cultivation, make him in many respects a useful man but he finds himself in comfortable circumstances and prefers indulgence in pleasure to troubling himself with broadening and improving his fortunate natural gifts… let him ask whether his maxim of neglecting his gifts… agrees also with what is called duty… But he cannot possibly will that this should become a universal law of nature or that it should be implanted in us by a natural instinct. For, as a rational being, he necessarily wills that all his faculties should be developed, inasmuch as they are given him and serve him for all sorts of purposes.
I guess my talent is talking about philosophy.
So you see, if I don’t go around telling people about philosophy, I’m totally violating Kant’s categorical imperative. And that means –
Hey wait! Where are you going? I was just explaining how Kant says –
Immanuel Kant. 1997 . Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. Trans. Lewis White Beck. 2nd Edition, Revised. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 39-40.