Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm a Depressed Dane Married to John Locke

My wife sent me a Facebook meme requiring that I answer a few multiple choice questions to establish which great philosopher I am. (By the way, isn’t it nice that the word ‘meme’ finally has a useful meaning, as in amusing activity sent around the Internet. It’s not quite as grand as being a universal unit of human culture, but it is something.) Anyhow, I answered the questions and was revealed as a student of the thought of Søren Aabye Kierkegaard (1813 - 1855), a depressed Dane. He spent almost all his life in Copenhagen, never married (although he was engaged) and wrestled with the philosophical problems presented by the Christian faith.

I suppose the meme associated me with Kiekegaard because of the answer I quite consciously chose to the first question “is there a God?” I regard the existence of God as blindingly obvious and impossible to prove. As this seemed close to Kiekegaard’s own requirement of a leap of faith, I selected that option. Most of my other answers could just as well as been Thomist, but I don’t know if Aquinas figures as a result of the meme.

My wife found she was John Locke. I have to admit I was both proud of her and quite envious. Locke’s philosophy combined Christianity and reason to produce liberalism. He was well aware that reason alone goes not lead you to the sunny liberal uplands (a point secularists are keen to ignore). He was also a believer in the ‘blank slate’ which concerned my wife (good Pinkerist that she is) but you can never be right about everything.

So which great philosopher are you?

Discuss this post at the Quodlibeta Forum


Humphrey said...

Hmmm, apparently i'm 'Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre'. I was rather hoping to be Descartes. My wife is going to delighted when I tell her I now think marriage is 'a despicable bourgeois institution'.

unkleE said...

I don't understand. I did the test and it told me it couldn't load the results page and asked me to come back later. I tried again, and instead of getting into the quiz, I got a result page which purported to be mine - and I was Kiekegaard also. I can't imagine my answers would have led there, so what gives?????

jack perry said...

Facebook applications require a Facebook account. How annoying.

Since I refuse to participate in common fashions, doesn't that classify me among the Cynics?

Anonymous said...

First, I was Kierkegaard. Then, after several months, I tried it again, and I was Kant. I tried it for the third time under the idea of what I would choose if I was an atheist - Nietzsche.