In my book Handbook of Philosophical Companionships (2016), I say:
“We contemplate because we treasure profound ideas and profound understandings in togetherness. We cherish the profound, just as in music we cherish the beautiful, and in cooking we cherish the tasty. Profoundness is, so to speak, the ‘beauty’ or ‘tastefulness’ of philosophical contemplation.” (Chapter 1, page 4)
One might say that I am “obsessed” with profoundness, or depth. Why?
My basic intuition is this: When I think and philosophize, I can engage different parts of myself. I can philosophize from my abstract mind, so that the ideas remain abstract and objective, and they do not touch me. But alternatively, I can open myself to the ideas and let them touch me, awaken me, inspire me.
In both cases, my words may be exactly the same words, but there is a big difference. In the first case, the words float on the “surface” of my being. In the second case, the words enter “deeply” into me, into my “inner depth.” They awaken me, and they start a meaningful personal process.
Ideas have the power touch us, move us and even transform us. Personally, I have experienced many times this power of ideas. And I am sure that anybody who is sensitive and self-aware and pays attention, had the same experience.
So it all depends on HOW we think and philosophize about ideas – not just WHAT we think but HOW we think: from the “surface” or our being, or from the “depth” of our being. This is the difference between philosophy as an entertaining game, and philosophy as a meaningful personal journey.