Rough Theory

Theory In The Rough

That Philosophy Woman

Someone just wandered past as I sat in my coffee shop, laptop at the ready, works by Derrida and Spivak scattered around. They did a quick double-take, walked over to my table, and burst out: “Hey! Are you that philosophy woman?”

Is there supposed to be only one of us?

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11 responses to “That Philosophy Woman

  1. Naadir Jeewa July 1, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Per shop. You’re above the requisite quota.

  2. Mikhail Emelianov July 2, 2008 at 5:02 am

    Maybe you missed a story on the news about a mysterious “philosophy woman” causing trouble in local coffee shops by blatantly exposing “deconstructionist” writings of “the charlatan Derrida” OR an announcement of a new government policy: More philosophy women per coffee shop!

  3. Carl July 2, 2008 at 6:25 am

    I think this would be a far better way than the military or university research grants to effectuate welfare employment policy and get dangerous conceptualizers off the street.

  4. N Pepperell July 2, 2008 at 7:46 am

    Thanks everyone :-) We seem to have a tacit debate unfolding, though: is the core problem too many philosophical women per coffee shop, or too few?

  5. Infinite Thought July 2, 2008 at 9:47 am

    One per continent should suffice, that way each of us can have a dominion – plus a virtual intercontinental solidarity! Only question is…who gets which land mass…

  6. N Pepperell July 2, 2008 at 11:16 am

    My coffee shop is non-negotiable.

    Without that coffee shop, there is no philosophy.

  7. Jill Lewis July 16, 2008 at 3:28 am

    So… on the theory that a coffee shop is more than just a place that sells coffee…

    Why *that* coffee shop?

    Having worked in, and been a social fixture of, coffee shops, I’m curious.

  8. N Pepperell July 16, 2008 at 10:21 am

    lol – well, I’ve written a bit on this place from time to time :-) Basically, *that* coffee shop because it’s an actual *place*, if this makes sense. The owner has a very idiosyncratic notion of what sort of space he wants to create, and so it’s a very distinctive environment – kitschy, random, cheerfully gloomy :-) (it’s in a basement, which itself is a contrast to many of the other coffee shops around, which try to open themselves to light and to the street – I mean, there are tables outside here, but who would sit at those, when you can descend into the gloom and murk of the back reaches of this place? :-) )

    Also… er… this may be a bit more self-revealing than is strictly ideal: although the place has become quite busy… er… in terms of people I recognise, the folks who come here tend to be people I… er… like… :-) It’s also (and… er… I swear this is completely and utterly unrelated to the last sentence…) not much of a faculty hangout, in spite of being literally on campus, so I’m unlikely to be seen here by people hunting me down, trying to give me things to do. That’s the main reason I come here to work – it’s a safe place to get things done, without losing half the day acquiring new things to do…

    But of course that could be true in any number of coffee shops – I come to this specific one, because it is the expression of one particular personality, and I sort of like being in a space into which someone has put this sort of strange energy…

  9. Jill Lewis July 17, 2008 at 5:07 am

    LOL. I understand perfectly. I spend too much time in coffee shops, so think too much about them.

    If there is such a thing as a constrained spaces archetype, the coffee shop may be the last free one left. All other buildings seem so definitively based on function and purpose…the coffee shops seem to be the last of the buildings that remain mutable through use, in terms of architecture, purpose, energy, ambiance, experience… Perhaps it’s the only place that remains so wholly dependent on individuals and group expression to make it what it is. A micro cosm of human interaction almost entirely free of constraint.

    I guess, on a cheaper intellectual note, it could be looked at as “What your coffee shop says about you” and vice versa. (*shudders* though that’s vile).

    *grins* Congratulations on finding the perfect workspace and hideout.

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