Five Theses About Real Philosophy, #2.

By Otto Paans

“Diogenes,” by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1860)


The first installment in this series is HERE.


I. Introduction

Some time ago, one of APP’s readers asked how real philosophy as we define and practice it (two activities that are inextricably connected) is supposed to be different from other types of philosophy, and whether all philosophy that is not real philosophy should be regarded as “fake” or “inauthentic” philosophy.[i]

II. An Existential-Tragicomic Predicament

A fire broke out backstage in a theatre. The clown came out to warn the public; they thought it was a joke and applauded. He repeated it; the acclaim was even greater. I think that’s just how the world will come to an end: to general applause from wits who believe it’s a joke.[ii]

III. To Engage: Positioning

As luck would have it Roger Caillois, far from being a mere compiler, was himself capable not only of setting out the facts in a compelling fashion but of giving his arguments the strength of active and personal thinking.[iv]


[i] As cited in The APP Circle’s “Philosophical Works, Philosophical Theories, Real Philosophy, and REAL Philosophy,” Against Professional Philosophy (9 June 2016), available online at URL = <>.