“Philosophical Lagniappe” is a site for the everyman. Let me explain. If you recall the movie Ratatouille, Chef Gusteau believed that “everyone can cook.” Though there are varying degrees of skill, every person has some level of skill when it comes to cooking. I believe this applies to philosophy as well – everyone is a philosopher.
Now, not everyone is (nor desires to be) a philosopher professionally. And nor should everyone be so; if everyone was a professional philosopher, our society would come screeching to a halt. God has gifted each person uniquely, and has given each one different abilities and desires (that is, what they enjoy doing. For instance, I love writing, researching, and teaching; however, I do not like doing home improvement projects). Thus, not everyone should be a professional philosopher. However, we all are philosophers in the sense that we make arguments, analyze claims, and ask and answer life’s perennial questions.
The problem most face today when it comes to philosophy is that much of what is published is obtuse–difficult to understand. Even the “intro” books can be difficult to read, for even they seem to assume some working knowledge with philosophy. And finally, philosophy teachers can make philosophy difficult or boring in the way they teach. I know first-hand (as a teacher myself) how past teachers or professors can have a negative impact on students’ views of a particular subject. There are other reasons why many have a negative view of philosophy (for a more thorough discussion, see Mark Foreman’s Prelude to Philosophy), but what I provided above are the two primary reasons.
In the spirit of Ratatouille, this site seeks to make philosophy more accessible to the layperson. It’s not that I have some special ability to interpret the difficult; rather, it’s my desire to see Christians see the value of philosophy in the service of theology and the Gospel. We need careful thinkers. We need thoughtful engagement with the culture. One way to accomplish this is to make philosophical principles easier to understand–to translate academic philosophy into the vernacular of everyday language.
It is my hope that this site becomes a helpful resource for those who seek to know more about philosophy, but struggle to understand what is available today.
[Please note that this site is not intended to be a “cultural engagement” site – one that seeks to be a cultural warrior. There are many out there right now (too many?) that do this. Instead, I intend this site to help others be able to better engage the culture.]