The thesis of Hegel, that philosophy identifies with the same history of philosophy, can be subscribed only if we consider that, for the German philosopher the thought, so the spirit, is dynamic, in continuous evolution and, if we subscribe the tinged optimism, that the progress is cumulative, so in continuous growth. Unfortunately it isn’t like that: the barbarities of the twentieth century are an evidence. If we restrict ourselves to teaching of philosophy, we observe that the thesis of Hegel has been even distorted as far as to force the dynamic process of the spirit to a sterile inventorial work. Then, the Shopenahuer of the pamphlet “About the philosophy in the university” is right.
Philosophy is pure thought or, better, it is the development of own genuine thought.
Pascal, not systematic philosopher, wrote some bright affirmations in the dynamics of himself thought. I quote, for example: «To sneer at philosophy is to philosophize truly» and the famous concept that can be considered the synthesis of his thought: «Man is only a reed, the most fragile in the whole nature; but he is a thinking reed. It is not necessary that the whole world arms itself to eliminate him: a vapor, a water drop suffices to kill him. But also if the world would crush him, man would be always more noble than which would kill him, because he is conscious to die and he knows the superiority of the world over him; the world does not knows anything. All our dignity is so in the thought. It is by it that we must raise ourselves and not in the space and in the duration that we could not fill. So let’s we work to think good: there the basis of morality.»
Also Benedetto Croce in “Ethics and politics” expresses a strict judgment in the incipit of the chapter forty-five: «I abhor the bad philosopher, presumptuous or amateur: presumptuous when he considers easy difficult things, amateur in the sacrosanct things. But I love very the not-philosopher, the not moved, the insensitive to disputes and distinctions and philosophical dialectics, who has the truth in little and single basics, in lucid maxims, sure guides to his judgment and to his work: man of the good sense and of the wisdom».
Let’s to return to the distinction between to be and to exist, between thought and action. But, is that correct?
If it is true that the human mind, except pathological cases like the dull brain, cannot continuously not think: to exist and to think are an organic whole. Maybe this explains, at least in part, the pithy and harsh judgment of Schopenhauer that to read the books of others we arrive to think by the head of others (obviously except his)!) (A. Schopenhauer, “The art to insult“).
The neuroscientists like Crick, who has also the merit of invention of the DNA, claim to prove that the thought is the result of a biochemical brain activity. But, then, to think that is a “thought over the thought”, i.e. a vicious or infinite circle other than Aristotelian “thought of thought”.
Philosophy is freedom of thought and thought in freedom.
(Translation by Giulia Bonazza)