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Thursday, January 19, 2006

E-mails from a philosopher: Introduction

A while ago, I was in a pub getting re-aquainted with my fellow grad students in our philosophy department. I had just started teaching adjunct positions and had not been asa available that semester. But we caught up with each other after attending a paper from some distinguished figure in contemporary philosophy (or soon to be such). I was suprised at how everyone seemed to miss my but that is my pathology not theirs. They were also interested when I mentioned, not very enthusiatically, that I had a blog, and wanted to know the address. I assured them that, as even part time visitors here (and you know who both of you are) will attest, that this blog is nothing but crap, unworthy of the attention of seriously aspiring professional philosophers. That did not disuade them, so I relented and gave the address.

This led to an amazingly powerful exchange between myself and one of my colleagues. I expected the series of questions to stretch out for years, but the exchanges you are about to read happened in the course of a week and all occured over the internet, even though the person is someone I knew IRL. Nicodemus visited Jesus by night but this person and I only spoke of these matters in the catacombs of the internet, hidden in plain sight. The remarkable aspect of it was that at the begining of the exchange the philosopher in question was an inquirer but afterward, she was a believer in Christ.

Given that it is very hard for a philosopher, as much as for a rich man, to enter the kingdom of heaven, I received permission from this person to post our exchanges on my blog, in case they are of any value to similarly situated folks. I have changed her name to Mrs. Smith to protect her from nosyness and to allow her the control over whether to reveal herself to people or not. But I will say that Mrs. Smith is from Turkey and came from a secular and Muslim background. She is also a brilliant philosopher in the analytic tradition and will someday soon be regularly published in peer reviewed journals. She is currently teaching in Turkey with her husband from America who recently received his doctorate from our department and who she influenced in bringing to Christ.

The first exchange begins here.

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