Friday, February 26, 2010

Most overrated philosopher: Sartre edition.

This is the most recent meme from all the usual suspects (I need to get to bed, so forgive me to not doing the links tonight). And it is kinda fun, especially the parts of the rules different people discuss.

I'm not sure I wouldn't tell you who I think the most overrated philosopher is, if I knew. My real problem is that when I run into a thinker whose thought doesn't match the hype, I stop reading. Which makes me a bad judge to know if they are overrated.

One of the more interesting comments has been the re-evaluation of Sartre. Which I have seen not just from this conversation but in general. Sartre in general, but particularly the Sartre of the Critiques of Dialectical Reason, has being considered to be a serious thinker again. The general feeling seems to be, Sartre at his peak probably was overrated, but nowadays he is downright underrated. Which I agree with. But I think he may still be overrated with those who take French existentialism seriously. For whatever reason, Simone de Beauvior continues to under appreciated and under read, regulated to a niche group of readers, whom mostly read her for history of women's studies reasons. Yet, I cannot see how, in her work broadly, she isn't simply the more original and provocative thinker of the two.

Maybe I will try to say something productive on the case of Derrida tomorrow. If it isn't productive, I won't bother. I don't need to defend him.