What Good Am I?

This is the fifth post in my series on Vital Philosophy, although as noted, the label is unimportant.  Vital Philosophy and this series are simply my way of expressing what Nick has called Global Philosophy, and also of explaining the reasons for the so-called shift from a preponderant emphasis on “knowledge acquisition” to a much more active emphasis on wisdom development and realization, aimed at actually improving the conditions of life in the world, life in the world, and lives in the world (with knowledge acquisition seen as a means to, and one ingredient in, wisdom development and realization).

The first four posts in the series are:  Vital Philosophy and Global Philosophy;  Vital Philosophy—a timely series;  Life-Aims and Aimlessness;  and Alien Observations.  Interested readers will find it helpful to read, and hopefully consider, the series in this order.

Within this context, and complementing points made earlier, perhaps the song that best poses a very good question for philosophers and others to consider at this point, is Bob Dylan’s ‘What Good Am I?’.


What Good Am I?   by Bob Dylan

(from his ‘Oh Mercy’ album, 1989; see links below)

What good am I if I’m like all the rest
If I just turn away, when I see how you’re dressed
If I shut myself off so I can’t hear you cry
What good am I?

What good am I if I know and don’t do
If I see and don’t say, if I look right through you
If I turn a deaf ear to the thunderin’ sky
What good am I?

What good am I while you softly weep
And I hear in my head what you say in your sleep
And I freeze in the moment like the rest who don’t try
What good am I?

What good am I then to others and me
If I’ve had every chance and yet still fail to see
If my hands are tied must I not wonder within
Who tied them and why and where must I have been?

What good am I if I say foolish things
And I laugh in the face of what sorrow brings
And I just turn my back while you silently die
What good am I?


You can hear ‘What Good Am I?’ here:


You can check out Dylan’s ‘Oh Mercy’ album, a remarkable—not to be missed—album for philosophers, here:


As always, thanks for your consideration.

Be Well,

Jeff Huggins

2 thoughts on “What Good Am I?

  1. Quite so! See also my ‘tweets of today’ at ‘InclusionAL’:

    Reality is a sea of receptivity suffusing energy, NOT a sea of energy suffusing space! bestthinking.com/article/displa… 9th October 2013

    Glue gums things up, lubrication frees their movement. Space is zero viscosity lubricant, everywhere, within, throughout and without limit. 9th October

    If Higgs boson is key, where is the hole within and around which the key turns? See bestthinking.com/article/displa… 9th October

    Encyclement – a natural inclusional cosmology of life and love. bestthinking.com/article/displa… 8th October

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