Is it possible to philosophize about the human condition from a lofty philosophical viewpoint rather than gleaning humble wisdom through the experience of engaging with the messy experience of meeting, befriending and loving the mass of mere humanity?

No. Or, at least, not well.

Philosophers, like everyone else, are trying to make sense of it all. But how could you make sense of a phenomenon with which you not familiar in its full complexity and messiness? How could you even know what questions need to be answered?

Often when non-philosophers think of philosophy they think of an extremely abstract discipline with only tenuous connections to everyday life. As Jyl says, this isn't so: many if not most philosophical problems take off from a perplexity regarding some very mundane and ubiquitous feature of life. When philosophers get abstract, and they can, it's not because they're seeking some "lofty" ground, animated by a horror of the messiness of the everyday. lt's rather that they have no hope of getting the understanding they crave of the notions that make up the everyday without disentangling concepts from one another. And this process of disentanglement can result in abstractness.

Read another response by Jyl Gentzler, Alexander George
Read another response about Philosophy