Eduardo Mendieta, who has conducted interviews with Cornel West and Jürgen Habermas for The Immanent Frame, was recently interviewed by New APPS. In the course of the interview, Mendieta gives a glimpse of the everyday life of philosophy:
In what ways, if any, do you integrate art, science, politics, and other areas of life such as cooking, or listening to music, or physical / spiritual exercise – what have you – into your philosophy?
My friend Linda Alcoff called me a “gym rat” one time and that pretty much summarizes it. My work and vocation are to read, and write, so I do something that is very sedentary and conducive to both bad health habits and bad posture. So, I do some sort of exercise every day. It could be a jog for an hour, the Gym, or Karate. I started Karate in order to spent time with my son, and to get him into good body habits. So, we both do the sport three times a week. My daughter is a swimmer, although now that she is in high school she is with the varsity team, which is not as intense as her swimming club use to be. I think sports, with lots of music, are key to my staying focused, and also being able to keep a writing regime. But, it is also important for my modeling to my kids, and my students.
Was anyone a similar model for you?
One of my intellectual heroes is Habermas, and although I have known him for almost two decades, only recently I found out why he is so vibrant philosophically and physically energetic. He walks every day for an hour. He is over eighty and is surely going to reach Gadamerian heights in terms of years. He is an amazingly fit man, as I come to know from the many walks we have had. On the other hand, a seminar with Habermas is also a task of endurance, as were seminars with Derrida. But, if I get to be that old, I would like to remain as energetic, vibrant, and simply curious about people and the world as Habermas has remained. To do that, you can’t let your body became a burden, but instead have it become your strongest ally. And that takes a certain askesis, a certain care of the self.
Read the full interview here.
[h/t Stuart Elden]