Baggini, Philosophizing and Blogging

July 12, 2006 at 12:24 am Leave a comment

Julian Baggini has got to be one of my favorite living philosophers; he’s a least on a top twenty list of some kind. I have a couple of his books, he wrote his doctoral on personal identity (which is what I want my doctorate to focus on) and he is generally clear headed and insightful.

I recently visited his website, looked through some of his materials and came across a link his blog. The strange thing was that Dr. Baggini’s blog contained only one entry explaining why he thought blogging was a waste of time. The entry also contains two justifications for his not blogging on a continual basis–since he has at least blogged long enough to explain why he doesn’t blog.

His first claim was that it was unhealthy for someone to spend too much time reading the ‘ramblings’ of any one person. His second claim was that he thought it was a waste of his and the reader’s time.

(This may seem like a mundane thing, but philosophers have often been acused of this. Besides, for a number of philosophers to blog on a regular basis without a few basic responses to criticism of blogging seems a bit ironic).

There is a problem with Dr. Baggini’s argument against blogging (his first justification). The assumptions made by Baggini are that the practice of blogging is solely for others to read AND that this reading must be done on a continual basis. His argument at least presupposes these two assumptions. But why should we accept them? Should bloggers think of themselves as publishers of ramblings?

Blogs can fill at least two other roles: allowing one a bit of practice at philosophizing on a daily basis and allowing the recording of philosophical progress in a way that is chronological and cumulative.

Also, why should people visit a blog every day? Isn’t this more a criticism of people viewing habits than the practice of blogging itself? It seem relatively reasonable to state the reading too much of anything can (potentially) be a waste of time. And so this falls on the reader and not the blogger, since this may not be the intention of the blogger to begin with.

With that, I think there are good reasons both of have a blog and read blogs regularly.

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Entry filed under: general philosophy.

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