At Home He Feels Like a Tourist


Novalis got it exactly wrong: what a philosopher desires is not to be at home - a philosopher desires not to be at home even when she is at home.  The philosopher desires alienation, estrangement, distance - critical distance - perspective.  At least enough perspective to be able to ask the question - the question no one else is asking - the question no one else can ask, because they are too embedded in... in their lives.  

It is a kind of uncanniness that the philosopher seeks.  The philosopher wants the things around her to have that uncanny quality or aspect that gives rise to the question.

When the philosopher is at home everywhere - that is the moment of utter disappointment.


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