Philosophy as done in universities.
Philosophy is a serious academic study in universities since 200 years at
least, and consequently has acquired in style, language and presentation many
of the common academic features, such as pedantry, jargon, dryness, bad style,
pretentiousness, networking (one refers to all one's academic friends and all
academics that may promote one or help one get tenure or a position, and one
generally flatters and praises whomever may help one's career), and the
concentration in publications on problems that are only seriously discussed
and considered in a very small academic circle, even though the members of
that small circle tend to pretend and speak as if they are the (academic)
world, and their academic problems are in the centre of concerns of all
Some of these features are unavoidable for an academic study and for academic
publications, but they also tend to color or taint books and papers addressed
to the general public.
Next, it should be mentioned that the common run of academic
not so much philosophers as academics: Persons with a somewhat higher than
average intelligence who have found a field of academic study they can receive
status and income with, but who are less interested in the disinterested study
of reality or in the improvement of society or mankind than in their own
careers and personal well-being, and in the improvement of themselves in society.
It should also be mentioned that as a rule academic philosophers - with some
exceptions - are not taken very serious by real scientists, such as physicists
and mathematicians, and often with good reasons, because academic philosophers
often chose their academic careers - unlike many serious classical philosophers - because they did not excel in science or mathematics.
In any case, whomever desires to study philosophy in a university is very well
advised to study at least one real science also, such as physics,
mathematics, biology or medicine, and to graduate in this as well. Indeed, if
it so happens that you are that rare sort of person destined to become a Great
Philosopher, this should not be difficult for you - and conversely, if you
find this difficult, perhaps it were much better if you don't study
philosophy, or regard it as a hobby, for philosophy without serious knowledge
of science is far more lame and less credible than science without serious knowledge of philosophy.
Also, a considerable part of academic philosophy is fraudulent in the sense
that the philosophies taught and maintained are mostly dishonest, and are
ideologies or means to get status rather than
serious and honest attempts to understand what reality and human beings are
like. Since philosophy is not an experimental science, this is also quite easy
in principle. (See: Postmodernism.)
The plus side of academic philosophy is that it enables a few gifted
individuals to do work of value that otherwise could not have been done, or
would have been much more difficult.