About Me ….

My name is Kimberly and I am an unemployed philosopher, an unemployed phenomenological realist if you want to be specific about it. One of the many PhD’s searching for that desirable and ever elusive tenured professor spot at some nice university. Occasionally I am employed to teach philosophy (on contract) at one of the local universities. I teach people’s adult children all about Immanuel Kant, the history of philosophy, metaphysics & epistemology, etc. I am also a writer for Things & Ink Magazine. And I am currently president of NASEP as well.

When I don’t have my nose in a book or my ass in front of the computer working away, I get tattooed (I should add here, when I have money as well). I have been getting tattooed since I was 17, and over the last few years I have begun to contemplate the philosophical significance of ‘everything ink’ – not just the experience, not just the design, not just personal preference, not just the expression or meaning, but EVERYTHING about it. No, this won’t be some fluffy philosophical journey where I talk in new age self-help terms, or use lots of hyphenated jargon words with -ness on the end, or create my own language and not provide a dictionary. I’m not THAT kind of philosopher. I believe, like the enlightenment philosophers, that philosophy should be accessible to everyone, and that it can enrich their lives in meaningful ways.

People often think philosophy is just an academic pursuit, something you take as an elective on the path to your REAL degree. However, I would argue that philosophy is very relevant to our modern daily life, one just has to make the effort to demonstrate it, to spark some interest in others … take that layer of dust and crustiness off philosophy’s head. Philosophy was developed in the streets with discourse — Socrates wasn’t a professor with tenure or some ivory tower snob. As part and parcel with this, I think that there should never be areas considered ‘off-limits’ to philosophical discussion. Meaning and truth can be found in any thing, any where. Now, an important part of my personal life is being a tattooed philosopher. Being a tattooed philosopher is still a bit unacceptable and brow raising to the old professors’ club, and add in there that I am a girl, a blonde, and you get a lot of supposed reasons why not to take me seriously. Actually, I don’t really take myself seriously, but that is beside the point here.

SO, I ask: why not be cheeky about it all and enlighten the mind? Why not explore various philosophical ideas and all things tattooed at the same time? Philosophy knows no limits and those who try to impose them should be locked in the box with Schrรถdinger’s cat or repeatedly assaulted with Wittgenstein’s poker.


20 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alex
    Oct 07, 2014 @ 16:00:50

    Hi Kimberly!
    I’m an MA philosophy student who wants to write something calling out Kant on his take of tattoos and black metal big time. I was wondering if you had anything published that I could use as a starting point?




  2. Sylvia
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 17:11:07

    I often think that I’d like to go back in time and capture the heart of Schopenhauer. Yes, I love him that much. I’d run out into the streets to stop the drivers from cracking their whips so he could concentrate on his work. I’d strive to be smarter than the blockheads and card players that he despised. I’d groom his poodles and even express their anal glands just for him.
    I loved your remark, ” if i told him Hegel hated tattoos then I bet heโ€™d be game.” So true!
    Why, without much prompting, this little grandma would consider a tattoo. The tattoo would be the words that Wagner said of Schopie, that I’m sure you already know. Thanks for illuminating him on your blog. Call him Artie all you want but only I can call him Schopie. I’ve known him longer. Deal?

    Sylvia in Pasadena


  3. Carlos
    Feb 01, 2014 @ 03:08:12

    Hi,this blog is really bad ass! Today, i was trying to investigate a little bit about the social root of some of the simbolism of those classic sailor tattoos in XVIII and XIX,Now im very happy that I started with a boring marxist idea about tattoos and I end up with the beauty and freshness of existencialism and even with the inspiring point of view of Simone de Beauvoir and Diatoma. And things result even better when i found that you are a sexy intelligent tattooed blondie…,fuck yeah!!!, we really live in a fantastic world. Best wishes from Costa Rica


    • tattooed.philosopher
      Jun 16, 2014 @ 18:17:25

      Thanks! ๐Ÿ™‚
      If i can help, let me know. I can probably either point you in the direction of the right person to ask or the right literature to check out.
      Thanks for the compliment too! Very kind.


  4. Courtney
    Oct 05, 2012 @ 14:40:14

    I found this blog right when I needed it. I’m a junior in college and very terrified of some of my own thoughts. I was recently in the hospital overnight for being mentally overwhelmed and not sleeping. I’m not sure how to fix all this year. But it helps to know that other people out there are working on these questions as well. I’ve been wanting to tattoo “…and there will be time” on myself. This is how I found the site.


  5. Phil
    Aug 17, 2012 @ 09:15:46

    I’m a first year Ph.D student in the UK and I want to say thanks for this blog. I’ve just decided to get my first tattoo after a fairly long period of introspection and the journey I’m about to embark on is daunting to say the least. Your blog is a source of inspiration. Thanks!


  6. Pedro Santos
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 07:44:39

    Hello Kimberly Pedro Santos here (merman tattoo) would like to get in touch about the message you sent do you have an email address i could contact you on? Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. adam
    Mar 27, 2012 @ 17:02:36

    I’m interested in seeing what tattoos you have! You seem like a unique individual. The unique strong minded types tend to have some original tattoos!


  8. B
    Mar 13, 2012 @ 14:46:07


    I’m an amateur philosopher that’s starting to read some of the old masters. I’m taking my time with the second preface to the Critique of Pure Reason. Was delighted to find your post on Kant and tatooing (that ol’ fascinating curmudgeon) and it confirmed my impression of him. Now I still have to read the thing itself, but so far I find his obsession with order kinda funny. He also doesn’t give a damn about providing explanations or examples, he’s kinda like anyone’s cantankerous uncle that is hilarious because he’s not trying to be funny. Anyway, this comment is much longer than anticipated. Glad I found your blog.



    • tattooed.philosopher
      Mar 26, 2012 @ 21:44:14

      I will be posting another Kant piece later this week, when i am finally free to return to blogging. I have been teaching Kant this term, and so i am inspired. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the kind remarks. I hope I continue to impress.


  9. Zyklonbetty
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 19:24:19

    Hello…I am an employed tattooer philosopher…
    That’s always an interesting combination. I am currently working on my masters thesis at saint louis university…if you travel as I did not see where you are, I would love to tattoo you simply for the conversation. (I am also a woman which in in itself an entire extra battle…) I could not find a personal email address for you but please, I would appreciate a chance to talk. Thank you…


    • Betsy Marie
      Jun 12, 2011 @ 00:38:39

      I am a learner of anything I can grasp my grubby paws on. Thank you for amazing morsels of information to feed my curious mind. I am a tattooed pin up model and thoroughly enjoyed your piece on Bettie Page!

      Zyklonbetty- I am in your area, may I ask where you tattoo?! (Sorry if I shouldn’t be asking that on here.)


  10. Rosie
    Oct 11, 2010 @ 01:46:25

    I see in your blog that you say you’re unemployed. May I please hire you to do all of my lateral thinking for me?

    Thank you.

    Bye. โค


  11. christy
    Sep 30, 2010 @ 11:25:48

    “No, this wonโ€™t be some fluffy philosophical journey where I talk about Dasein, or self-help stuff, or use lots of hyphenated jargon words with -ness on the end. Iโ€™m not THAT kind of philosopher. I believe, like the enlightenment philosophers, that philosophy should be accessible to everyone, and that it can enrich their lives in meaningful ways. ” These two things aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact I would argue that I, in talking about Dasein (30 pages!) and self-help stuff (my philosophic contribution) with words ending in -ness (250 pages baby), AM enriching lives in a meaningful way.


    • tattooed.philosopher
      Sep 30, 2010 @ 12:10:59

      That’s all good and fine for you, but it’s not for me. ๐Ÿ™‚ My point was to not use too much jargon and stick to ideas that everybody can grasp without needing graduate school training in philosophy. I’m not saying those philosophies or styles cannot enrich, but to get the enrichment often means having a philosophical background. Plus, the mention of dasein and -ness words just makes me think of Heidegger, and his work is so anti-enlightenment and anti-understandable …. i do not tread there. ๐Ÿ™‚


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