Aboyne (vb.): To beat an expert at a game of skill by playing so appallingly that none of his clever tactics or strategies are of any use to him.
The Meaning of Liff
Have you thought about thinking lately? Have you wondered about wondering? Have you asked yourself how you know what you know and if what you know is knowable or indeed worth knowing? Come to think of it, what is ‘worth’? Come to think of it still further, what is ‘knowing’ ? Come to ‘think’ further still, what is it that we are doing when we ask ourselves these questions?
What is it to ponder on the imponderable?
The one thing you don’t ask a philosopher, is for an answer, for the answer, she will argue, is often the question.
Thats what we do at MCPH. Question, argue, debate and vigourously disagree — so that when one returns to the original point on the circle, what one has arrived at is Not the answer, but rather, a more nuanced understanding of what the question meant in the first place; and in that insight lies the world, or at least a part of it you hadn’t glimpsed earlier. Its challenging and tough because in every argument is a doubt and in it, the seed for a mutiny against established notions, cherished ideals and habits of thought so that what emerges is a churning, a metamorphosis and a changing, of the one thing you can be most sure of — yourself.
(The fact that MCPH happens to be located amidst a picturesque landscape, of hills overlooking the sea, softens the blow somewhat. We often take recourse at the beach, peering out over the sea and laying down on the sand and marvelling at the night sky — both activities traditionally encouraged among the philosophically inclined. Sometimes we see shooting stars. It can be a hard life at MCPH.)
Not satisfied doing this between nine to five, six days a week, MCPH is now playing host to fellow, inveterate ponderers from around the globe. Over the next three days will follow a bar brawl among otherwise, very genial, if somewhat argumentative people, all intoxicated on philosophy and that wonderfully human inclination to ask — ‘why?’, ‘so what?!’ or ‘who is this God person anyway ?.’ We are not expecting broken glass but fully expect a few broken shards of argument to puncture the bubbles of belief and conviction; to shift the vantage point from whence one may begin to theorise about the world, differently.
Since, we don’t agree with each other at the best of times (except perhaps about when lunch should ideally be consumed), the results should be interesting.
The theme is on ‘Science and Narratives of Nature — East and West’ but that is only the flint to the powder keg of ideas. If science has emerged as the new ‘god’ to the 21st century, perhaps, its time we investigated the antecedents of this ‘god’ and poke at its foundations to see if ‘god’ shuffles his feet.
Philosophy does to Dogma, what a child does to bubble wrap.
Watch this space.