It is a rather bold thing, to claim, as this blog's title suggests that one is a philosopher. My formal training in philosophy ended with my major and undergraduate degree. Later, I received a JD, practiced law for nine years, and then went back to graduate school to obtain a masters degree in library and information science. Currently, I am the director of a small law school library and enjoy the title of Professor of Law. However, none of this qualifies me as a philosopher.
I recall the account of Prof. Paul Hedengren, one of my philosophy professors, that while he was in graduate school at University of Toronto, one of his professors accosted him for having the audacity to do philosophy, rather than appropriately limiting himself to the study of the great philosophers in history. Apparently, philosophy is the relegated to the dead, and the rest of us have no business in the subject; otherwise, we risk playing the role of the "sorcerer’s apprentice."
To understand what philosophy is, it is helpful to understand what it is not. While still an undergraduate at a religious university, a woman sitting next to me on an airplane struck up a conversation and asked me about my major in school. When I told her, she queried, "how can you study philosophy at a school like that?" I reflected on her question and answered, "If philosophy's role were limited to confronting religion, I suppose you would be right, but it challenges all thinking of its times."
This blog will serve the general purpose of challenging thinking of our time. It does so best when it tests the individual who engages therein; hence, my need to share my thinking, which will often be inadequate to the task, with others. Philosophy is an activity in which all of us should engage. I encourage your comments and participation.