It is hard enough to define pornography: “I know it when I see it” according to Judge Potter Stewart. If you thought that was a tough cookie (what do you think of the new Victoria Secret ads on Network TV?), try to define philosophy. “I know it when I define it” says the self reflexive smart alec. He might be right, but he didnt really solve the problem did he?
What is philosophy anyway? I remember being pleasantly surprised and then taken aback during my first visit to a Barnes and Noble megastore (in Madison, Wisconsin if you really want to know) and stumbled into the metaphysics section. I was expecting treatises on Plato and Nagarjuna and was instead confronted with rows and rows of brightly colored evocations of previous lives and astral bodies.
At that time, I remember turning back, screaming silently and mocking the befuffled masses arrayed around me, but were they right? Who owns metaphysics, thats what I want to know.