Philosophy is often characterized as being the study of knowledge, existence and reality as an academic discipline. The term is also regarded as being a theory or attitude by which guides the way a person or an organization acts.
The origin of character.
Bill Watterson, the creator of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip, has said that Calvin was in fact named after the 16th century theologian John Calvin and Hobbes’ namesake is the 17th century philosopher Thomas Hobbes.
With such a pedigree it is little wonder that a number of the comic’s story lines center on questions involving existence.
Rather than take such vexing problems of existence and reality too seriously, Watterson allows Calvin and Hobbes to work against the philosophical weight of their decidedly more sober namesakes.
He lampoons the grand overarching, and over-aching, questions which plague Calvin (and the rest of us) while reminding that both the question and the questioner are not as grand and they take themselves to be.
Don’t get me (or Calvin; or Hobbes) wrong, theses deeper philosophical questions have value. They are worth asking, but there is no single way (or right way) to answer them.
Part of Calvin’s struggle is coming to the awareness that he is struggling to define his own self-concept. In him we see our own selves struggling against our own big questions.
These questions are not the same for everyone. Our only hope is to find some other half that can “tolerate” us as we struggle to find meaning in life’s deeper questions. We need a “sidekick,” a husband, a wife, a friend to walk this tightrope with us.
Who can help stupid mortals like us?
We all need a Hobbes, an individual who joins us in our struggles yet offers the necessary loving kindness which helps our navigating through struggle rather than drowning alone in a cesspool of doubt.
Yes, often we can’t see beyond the tips of our own noses, and in those moments having a helper guide us past the blindspots refines and defines our own philosophical outlook. Which, in the long run hopefully offers us the self-knowledge to become “Hobbes” to someone else’s “Calvin”.
Part of the Blogging A to Z Challenge.