top of page

The "Wizard" and the "Sorcerer" Factions In Philosophy

Updated: Apr 19

In English, or at least in role-playing games, the terms "wizard" and "sorcerer" may sound synonymous, but in fact they are very different, and that difference, I believe, should also apply to philosophy and philosophers. The Wizard is a master of their craft through their ability to study and experiment, while the power of the Sorcerer comes from their own innate skill.

Of course, these differences do not have to be polar opposites; in fact, people who have a natural affinity for philosophizing, like the Sorcerer has for his magic, may study it like a Wizard does, to enhance their already-existent abilities.

However, what many people fail to realize, both within and outside of philosophy, is the fact that being well-versed in philosophical ideas is but ONE way to be a philosopher -- the way of the Wizard, the conventional way, the academic way. Those who base their philosophizing on their innate talents, like some kids naturally do, are what we can call natural philosophers, or "Sorcerers" as an allegory.

The more respected way to become a philosopher today is by the way of the Wizard; through education and the continuous study of well-known philosophers, their theories, arguments, and so on. That is the orthodox way devised and conquered by academies, the only places on Earth where you can feel secure about being a philosopher -- through the degrees they give you, of course, for remembering concepts of greater philosophers and putting them on assignments.

The origins of philosophy, however, are not Wizardly but come from the Sorcerer archetype; from the innate desire to better understand the world and the universe by contemplating and asking questions. As written before, Socrates was not academic and never wrote anything himself; his philosophership came not from academic research but from inquiring about things to the people of Athens, which is what made the Athenian court accuse him of "corrupting the youth".

What if Socrates was born today and not back then? What if he lived in an age where his original philosophizing was undermined by the "dictatorship" of the academy? What if his thoughts and theories about the world would be discarded because he didn't read books, didn't write anything himself, didn't "do his research," and so on?

This is why the way of the "Sorcerer" in philosophy is so underrated, because people believe that having an innate skill or affinity for philosophy is insufficient. When people ask me where I have gained the material to write so many books and articles, they fail to realize the underrated power of the mind; that there are people who are more contemplative than others, and that's what essentially makes them the philosophers in the method Socrates used: by asking, contemplating, and coming up with your own answers.

In fantasy, Sorcerers do not read books to enhance their abilities; they do not subscribe to certain schools or universities; they do not have masters of their own to teach them how to do their magic; they are simply born with the ability to cast spells, like some children are born with the natural need to inquire about things; things that non-philosophic adults think of rarely, if at all.

And indeed, philosophers should be seen on a spectrum; a spectrum of natural skill and book-smarts. I myself used to read plenty of books, but since I got the Chronic Fatigue condition, I can no longer read books or long-winded things, much to my sorrow.

However, I don't let it break me because I know that metaphorically, I am more of a "sorcerer" than a "wizard". My material comes innately and intuitively rather than empirically or with research, and that virtue, unfortunately often seen very negatively by those who are unaware that philosophizing is also an innate need. Anyone can become a philosopher. It is not the sole product of well-respected institutions that grant you certificates over something you can be even without them. Those who are "sorcerers" by nature don't necessarily have to adhere to the authority of the so-called "wizard" faction, which dominates the contemporary world.

Ultimately, logic is what makes a philosophical argument cohesive and sensible. It is the electricity of electronics, the "Ki" of monks and martial artists, and so on. Likewise, there are people who are more logical and more inquisitive than others, and that's what could eventually turn them to philosophizing -- just like Socrates did.

Philosophy should not be the sole property of the academic elite. It should be spread across the world and practiced even by the most common of people! Basic and even advanced philosophical questions should be tackled by anyone without the fear of being seen as pretentious, and being a philosopher can be an occupation as well as a hobby.

Let us return the original naturalness of philosophy, to contemporary philosophy. Those who are unable to read books or don't get a degree like me shouldn't be gate-kept by the academic elite. Philosophy is a thing we do for love, arguably, and not for the sake of being more professional than the "common man". Likewise, philosophers shouldn't fear being wrong, for mistakes are a path to the truth.

It is time to bring back the "philo" in sophy," the "love" of wisdom," and a love that everyone can share and be shared. Universities and other high-level institutions shouldn't hold exclusive rights to such a basic field; people should philosophize in the convenience store, at cafes, and on the internet, just like I do.

It is time to stop seeing philosophy professors as more respected just because they had the money and time to earn degrees. I too wanted to be a philosophy professor, but it was too late for me. However, it will not stop me from trying to become and be seen as a philosopher just like any other philosophers, who gained their philosophership through either "sorcery" or "wizardly". Remember: philosophy is older than the conception of academic institutions.

Fun fact: there is no difference between the two in Hebrew. If I didn't know English, this article wouldn't have come to fruition.

49 views0 comments

Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

צילום מסך 2023-10-01 042234.png
bottom of page