The word anti means pro if one can afford to look from outside.
There is nothing to be against but a lot to be changed…
Originally posted on Re(-)petitions:
I recently ran across this quote from Hamann on Wikiquote:
Let us assume that we invited an unknown person to a game of cards. If this person answered us, “I don’t play,” we would either interpret this to mean that he did not understand the game, or that he had an aversion to it which arose from economic, ethical, or other reasons. Let us imagine, however, that an honorable man, who was known to possess every possible skill in the game, and who was well versed in its rules and its forbidden tricks, but who could like a game and participate in it only when it was an innocent pastime, were invited into a company of clever swindlers, who were known as good players and to whom he was equal on both scores, to join them in a game. If he said, “I do not play,” we would have to join him in looking the people with whom he was talking straight in the face, and would be able to supplement his words as follows: “I don’t play, that is, with people such as you, who break the rules of the game, and rob it of its pleasure. If you offer to play a game, our mutual agreement, then, is that we recognize the capriciousness of chance as our master; and you call the science of your nimble fingers chance, and I must accept it as such, it I will, or run the risk of insulting you or choose the shame of imitating you.” … The opinion of Socrates can be summarized in these blunt words, when he said to the Sophists, the leaned men of his time, “I know nothing.” Therefore these words were a thorn in their eyes and a scourge on their backs.
Socratic Memorabilia, J. Flaherty, trans. (Baltimore: 1967), pp. 165-167
Perhaps this is the kind of “anti-philosophy” I’m interested in exploring. In countless recent conversations, it’s becoming increasingly clear that this category (“anti-philosophy”) is a kind of offense, something that gets under one’s skin, for various reasons. I hope to reflect on this more at a later time, but for now I thought I might offer this valuable contribution from Hamann. On Hamann’s account, Socrates refuses to philosophize because the players are cheats. This does not disqualify Socrates from the act of philosophy; on the contrary, it reveals that he is the true philosopher, and that he would not debase himself by being a Sophist. This conception really helps to illuminate Kierkegaard especially, though a number of others come to mind.