“There are nowadays professors of philosophy, but not philosophers,” writes Thoreau. “Yet it is admirable to profess because it was once admirable to live.”
I’m Pranay Sanklecha. At 13, I left my family in India to do my A-Levels in England. At 15, I was admitted to read PPE at Oxford. Since then I’ve been a schoolteacher, a commodities trader, a writer, a cook, a restaurant owner and a professor of philosophy.
As an academic philosopher, I worked in political and moral philosophy, on topics such as climate justice, intergenerational justice, individual and collective responsibility and on the meaning of life and the search for purpose.
Being a professor was an easy life but I resigned.
I’ve decided, in Thoreau’s terms, to stop being a professor of philosophy and try to be a philosopher instead.
“To be a philosopher,” continues Thoreau, “is … so to love wisdom as to live according to its dictates, a life of simplicity, independence, magnanimity, and trust. It is to solve some of the problems of life, not only theoretically, but practically.”
I want to use everything I’ve learned as a philosopher to help people. That’s my purpose. So here I am.