Is it that philosophy is competitive or is it just the way in which we (as humans) have come to be in general that is competitive? I'll try and spell out the distinction. My professor seems to vie for his idea. Descartes defends his position. Hobbes attacks Descartes' idea. Spinoza attacks both. There are dissertational "defenses". These are just a few examples of competitiveness in philosophy. Are humans just competitive? But if we are trying to get at truth, how does competition help? I can't understand why I feel the need to be the smartest person in my class. If I am not, I feel anguish and despair. Is it that anguish and despair come from losing and philosophy for me is just a competition and for other people it is not that way at all? But that is not true. Does philosophy harbor competition, and if it does, is it intrinsically flawed? Would art be a better way to get at truth? But art is competitive too! Is existence, then, a Schopenhauerian nightmare--endless striving to overcome, when you can't overcome yourself (as a competitor) how do you find time to even think about any other issue? Is my thinking somewhere flawed? Is there anything in life that I don't need to struggle for?