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I'm a Philosopher King... only, I'm not.
March 3, 2014 3:30 PM   Subscribe

What's a good title that has the same sense as Philosopher King but can be used by a woman? Don't start me on "Philosopher Queen" -- You and I both know that it's not the same thing at ALL.

I use personal cards with my telephone number and email address on them, and I have them done in as high a quality has I can reasonably pay for (i.e., thermography over letter press, but a very high quality card stock).

I give myself titles. I didn't used to. I used to have real calling card sized cards with only my name on them, and I would write whatever else was needed (i.e., book recommendations, etc). A couple of years ago, I started also using the email address and phone number. At the same time, I took the title "Leisure Consultant." When those cards ran out, I took the title "Pancake House Cocktail Waitress." Next was "Unindicted Co-Conspirator." (that last one is actually true in the weirdest way imaginable)

When Unindicted Co-Conspirator runs out, I want to be a Philosopher King. Sadly, as a woman, I think that avenue is blocked to me.

I could use "Empress" or "High Priestess" but I never really learned how to read the tarot all that well. Again, the male form is better: Hierophant. What would be the feminine form, other than High Priestess? What were women's titles in Roman temples?

But even they don't have the same kind of devil-may-care wanderer feel that Philosopher King does.

Ideas? I'm in no rush here, so take your time.
posted by janey47 to Human Relations (45 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oracle?
posted by jessamyn at 3:32 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Oracle?
posted by Mchelly at 3:32 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


If this is humor, how about "Lady Philosopher King"? Or, "Her Royal Highness, Philosopher King"?
posted by Lesser Shrew at 3:36 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Not to threadsit, but how could you possibly think this was HUMOR?

(Oracle is good but somehow doesn't have the resonance I thought it might...)
posted by janey47 at 3:37 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Imperatrix sapientiae is my run at "Empress of Wisdom," but check with someone who knows Latin better than I.

I know a guy who had adopted the informal title of "Reality Therapist" for his project management stuff.
posted by jquinby at 3:40 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Philosopher King in no ways says devil-may-care wanderer to me. Could you describe what sort of image or feeling you want to convey with this?
posted by munchingzombie at 3:44 PM on March 3 [12 favorites]


How about 'philosopical seer'?

The archetype for which is Diotima of Mantinea.
posted by bertran at 3:49 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Maybe you go florid instead of succinct: "The Benevolent & Most Wise, Ruler of the High Seas, Mother of Her People... &c. &c."

Also, I'm not sure I read "philosopher king" as devil-may-care. It comes from Plato's Republic and has little to do with wandering.
posted by gauche at 3:49 PM on March 3 [4 favorites]


Hegemone? Greek for 'guide.'

Hieropantissa is the feminine form of hierophant. (Or hierophatria).

I'm with everyone else here; Philosopher King resonates with the exact opposite of devil-may-care, for me.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 3:52 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


(I would say actual philosopher kings are the very opposite, by definition, of devil-may-care types. But the actual ones are few and far between, and for someone to auto-denominate as a 'philosopher king' -- without being one, which is almost inevitable -- is a good mark of being a devil-may-care type.)
posted by bertran at 3:54 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


For clarity, the kind of person who declares himself a Philosopher King is probably not exactly what Plato had in mind. As a friend once said, "If you use the word 'spiritual' to describe yourself, you're not." It takes a fair amount of chutzpah and delightful self-satisfaction to take the appellation "Philosopher King" for oneself.
posted by janey47 at 3:56 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


If you're open to "what you do" vs "what you are," consider "thought couture."
posted by rhizome at 4:03 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I think that you can just call yourself Philosopher King. If you are a woman, it seems like it would communicate even more chutzpah and delightful self-satisfaction to do that.
posted by michaelh at 4:04 PM on March 3 [25 favorites]


Sphynx?
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:07 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


I think that you can just call yourself Philosopher King. If you are a woman, it seems like it would communicate even more chutzpah and delightful self-satisfaction to do that.

Exactly this.
posted by The Michael The at 4:08 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Oracle may not be quite right but what about Registered Oracle of Delphi? "Prophecies delivered; realities conceptualized; fates discerned."

Or what about Sage?
posted by furiousthought at 4:09 PM on March 3


Janey47, Sibyl and Soothsayer
Janey47, Prognosticator and Clairvoyant
Janey47, Bacchante.
Janey47, Minor Prophet.
posted by pretentious illiterate at 4:09 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Regina philosophorum.

(Meaning 'queen of the philosophers', maybe.)
posted by bertran at 4:12 PM on March 3 [3 favorites]


Own 'Philosopher King.'
posted by feistycakes at 4:40 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Philosopher King for sure.
posted by masquesoporfavor at 4:47 PM on March 3


Thirding that you should werk philosophy king.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:52 PM on March 3


(you wouldn't be the first lady king)
posted by oceanjesse at 4:55 PM on March 3


Is this...two levels of ironic? Does that go back to being serious? I'm confused and intrigued, which is probably what you're getting at. Yay for calling cards!

How about "a lady and a scholar," as a counterpoint to "a gentleman and a scholar"?
posted by spelunkingplato at 4:57 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


100% reclaim Philosopher King.

But if for some reason it's not working for you (gender labels are sticky fuckers) maybe something to do with Hecate? Follower of Hecate? Stranger on the Crossroads?
posted by Mizu at 5:00 PM on March 3


Philosopher Crone?
posted by BoscosMom at 5:08 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Mother of Philosophy.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:27 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


According to that esteemed repository of wisdom, Wikipedia, there are some totalitarian associations with the term Philosopher King. If any of your card recipients are unsure of the meaning, origin and use of the term (eg: me), and they referred to Wikipedia, would you want the implied association with Stalin, Khomeini and Hitler?

How about Philosophy Maven?
posted by Kerasia at 5:30 PM on March 3


Poet-warrior is pretty unisex.
posted by cmoj at 5:30 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


hmmm, how about Mater Misericordiae? I'm not a mother, but I sure am merciful. In smaller letters, I could put "vita, dulcedo, et spes nostra salve" but dear me, the right person would find that horribly blasphemous.
posted by janey47 at 5:31 PM on March 3


I'm female and I would go with Philosopher King.
posted by aetg at 5:36 PM on March 3


Mystagogue?
posted by lovecrafty at 5:41 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


Childlike Empress has a certain ring to it.
posted by BrashTech at 5:58 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Forget Plato and go Aristotle:
janey47, Megalopsuchos

Or just go Greek:

janey47, Basilissa
janey47, Aristos
janey47, Tyrannos

posted by jcatus at 6:39 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Supreme autocrat.
posted by Zonker at 7:06 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Be Lisa Simpson: The Lizard Queen!
posted by quixotictic at 7:40 PM on March 3 [2 favorites]


What's a good title that has the same sense as Philosopher King but can be used by a woman?

There is a faulty assumption here.

I don't see any reason a woman can't use the "King" appellation.

Why is it that this title cannot be used by a woman, or why is it that you cannot use it? Is it illegal where you live?
posted by yohko at 8:36 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


- Adventurer
(Just make sure you aren't confused with freelance murder hobos.)

- Hierophantissa

- Sage

I also like cmoj's suggestion, but I'd go 'Warrior-Poet' rather than P-W, or perhaps Battle-Scholar.
posted by porpoise at 8:37 PM on March 3


Sticking with the monarchy theme, how about czar, overlord, or even just monarch? Wise ruler? Although Philosopher king is so specific in its meanings and connotations that I also agree you should just use that.
posted by Gravel at 9:15 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]


Sticking with the monarchy theme, how about czar

Tsarina of the Starry Sky
posted by otherchaz at 5:11 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


Philoceraptor
posted by gohabsgo at 7:24 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


janey47, Philosopher Khan
posted by GrapeApiary at 8:26 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


Queen of Chaos
posted by ersatzkat at 10:45 AM on March 4 [1 favorite]


True Pilot.
posted by srboisvert at 11:10 AM on March 4 [2 favorites]


Philosopher Rex?
posted by gardenbex at 4:20 PM on March 4


Yeah, you guys have convinced me. Philosopher King it is. Thanks, hivemind!
posted by janey47 at 10:30 AM on March 5


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