There are many who studied philosophy in the university, so we call them scholars of philosophy. Scholars of philosophy may be philosophers, namely, real philosophers, or may be just scholars of philosophy. An illiterate may be a philosopher, on the other hand, a scholar of philosophy may not be a philosopher. So, how to differentiate between a real philosopher and a scholar of philosophy?. Are some of major philosophers have views about this matter?

  • originality? not sure what else you could be asking. i think the ideas concerning life / philosophy are vague and unhelpful, unless perhaps we are talking about a kind of philosophical intelligence -- but how would that be different to personality factors such as free thinking-ness. hmm – anon Mar 30 '17 at 17:01
  • tho your question seems to assume that philosopher is something of a kind, rather than a factor. who has claimed it is? – anon Mar 30 '17 at 17:09
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    thanks, i'll take a look soon :) i wonder in what ways it is that 'philosophy' links up with that of "taste". for me, i think that it's the latter, 'taste', which really is worth having had lived. later :) ! – anon Mar 30 '17 at 17:33
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    This question has an interesting paradoxical bent to it. I get a distinct feeling the answer to this question would be highly useful to a scholar of philosophy, while a real philosopher would find no need for an answer. To answer, it might help to understand what you would do with such a differentiation. For instance, how would you treat someone differently if they were a "real philosopher?" – Cort Ammon Mar 30 '17 at 17:45
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    I'm voting to close this question because, given how vague the definitions of "real philosopher" and "scholar of philosophy" are, this question is only going to get subjective and opinion-based answers. If something like "a scholar of philosophy is someone who only reads philosophy and doesn't attempt to give their own answers" and "a 'real' philosopher is someone who writes and argues their own philosophical views" isn't a good enough answer, even though they seem like self evident definitions, then this question is too vague to get objective answers. – Not_Here Mar 31 '17 at 6:17

I feel you're making an important and valuable distinction. A professor of neurobiology recently opined to me that he felt the phrase 'professional philosopher' is an oxymoron. I share his view. Plenty of scholars but very few philosophers.

Shaura makes a good point by saying that a philosopher will examine all philosophies with equal effort, at least until it is clear they fail, but this is a pipe-dream in the profession. If we want to learn about philosophy as opposed to the Western tradition of thought then the university is not the place. We will come out believing that philosophy is not worth the effort.

If you look around you'll notice that many departments are closing or under threat, and there is currently much discussion in the profession of how to demonstrate that university philosophy is worth doing. It's a tough task and many university administrators are clearly not yet convinced.

A revolution may be taking place under our noses, motivated by growing public criticism and ongoing failure, but perhaps this is wishful thinking. At this time the profession could be accused of a lack of scholarship for its members generally fall well outside Shaura's condition for a real philosopher.

Your question is valuable because it highlights the difference between a philosopher and scholar of philosophical history. If we confuse the two we may struggle to make much sense of philosophy.

  • PeterJ , there are : 1- a philosopher , 2- a scholar philosopher , 3- a scholar of philosophy . – salah Mar 31 '17 at 15:22

A scholar of Philosophy by nature of his duty towards researching and studying would give equal importance to all philosophies and try to learn and understand each philosophy with equal effort. However, real philosopher is an advanced stage where the philosopher has chosen a philosophy as supreme and would answer each question by domains of the particular philosophy. Additionally, a scholar is not required to follow any philosophy in real life but a real philosopher would have to do so. Answer by - Team Rajras

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