About a year ago, I decided to quit my job to pursue philosophy. I’ve spent my time writing, speaking, creating videos, and grappling with big ideas – all explicitly outside of academia. It’s been great. But it’s only a preface to larger projects, two of which are coming to fruition in the next several weeks.
First, I am getting closer to the release of my first book on philosophy: Square One: The Foundations of Knowledge. I intend to write several short books on philosophic issues – one on epistemology, one on metaphysics, one on political theory and economics, and one on ethics. Eventually, I will blend them into one large book. But Square One is the beginning of it all; it’s the epistemological foundation on which all the other ideas rest. I couldn’t be more excited about it.
The second project is even bigger. It will be a complete life-change for my wife and me.
Philosophy in the Real World
I take the pursuit of truth seriously, and now, I’m taking it internationally.
I have sold all of my stuff, purchased some high quality tech equipment, and will be traveling the world interviewing intellectuals across the globe. I will be talking with people from every background – philosophers, pastors, political theorists, mathematicians, monks, physicists, theologians, economists, and anybody else I can learn from.
I am focusing on essential questions, and I’ve no desire to waste time chatting about fluffy nonsense. I want to hear the best case for mysticism from a Hindu; the clearest explanation of consciousness from a Buddhist; the most rigorous defenses of empiricism and rationalism from Western philosophers; and I want to examine the foundations of the great religions. There are numerous issues I think are critically important, and I will be free to pursue them all.
My ideas will be put to the test. I do not pretend to be unbiased. I am a philosopher with a well-developed worldview and passionately-held beliefs, but I am willing to learn and be corrected. As I’ve written about before, the world of ideas woefully lacks a feedback mechanism to determine whether our ideas are true or false. But this method – getting outside of the ivory tower, libraries, and insular echo-chambers – seems like the best approach.
I am inspired by the story of Socrates, and I intend this to be a continuation of his work. He had philosophic dialogues with intellectuals thousands of years ago, but unfortunately for the rest of us, he didn’t have a microphone. I do, and I’ve also got the internet, which means that everybody can join, participate, and learn from the journey.
For lack of a better term, this series will be a “podcast”, and it’s called Patterson in Pursuit. I’ve already recorded several interviews and will start releasing them in the middle of April – which, by that time, will be available on my newly re-designed website.
This journey will be taken with my wife Julia. We aren’t only traveling for philosophy. We’ve had an extremely difficult few years dealing with death and sickness, and about eight months ago, we finally had enough. We decided to live and travel while we’re still young, alive, and without kids.
If you want to follow our personal journey, we started a travel blog at PortablePattersons.com . There will be many pictures of our travels – the food, people, architecture, landscapes, and any other cool things we see. My wife is a great photographer. We’ll also occasionally blog and vlog about our experiences.
Right now, we’ve allotted up to two years for international travel, and our preliminary itinerary includes 25+ countries. I don’t know how many we’ll be able to visit or how long we’ll be able to last. But, if we fall in love with a foreign city, we might end up moving overseas permanently.
Our first leg of the journey begins in Europe. We’ve booked our first flight to Ireland on May 5th. Then, we go to Norway, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Greece. From there, we’ll either go back to the UK to visit Scotland and England, go to Morocco and South Africa, or fly to Thailand and begin the Eastern side of the trip.
So, needless to say, the next several weeks will be exciting, scary, and busy for the both of us. I cannot wait to begin.