Category: Ideas and Reflections

The Philosopher and Society

To interpret a thing is to categorize it. We may categorize only in accordance with existing categories, of course, which in practice — an obvious point but one easily forgotten — means in accordance with categories we know. Hence, the limits of interpretation, for each man, are determined by the modes of existence that he himself has previously recognized or intuited from his...

“What is worth more, art or activism?”

Recently, two radicalized children threw tomato soup on Van Gogh’s Sunflowers at London’s National Gallery. They supposedly did this to protest the continued reliance on fossil fuels. Perhaps their reasoning was that Van Gogh painted in oil, which means he too contributed to global warming in some way. Otherwise, their defining “statement” as they glued themselves to the wall beneath the famous painting...

Multiculturalism Equals Anticulturalism

Multiculturalism, a Newspeak fantasy initiated, predictably enough, in Canada, is a social theory that pretends to promote and defend all cultures, while in fact — and in true intention — diluting and neutering all cultures. It accomplishes this subterfuge by subordinating all cultures to the demands of a democratic egalitarian relativism which becomes, in effect, the new global super-culture, or, more accurately, anti-culture....

Martin Scorsese

One of the inevitable consequences of nihilism is that even people of talent, who might have made something worthwhile in a world in which societies were united by beliefs and aspirations of substance, end up producing nothing but clever variations on the prevailing nothingness — not commentaries on that nothingness, or critiques of it, but merely the nothingness itself, disguised in various excesses....

Angela Lansbury as Sibyl Vane

Angela Lansbury has died at ninety-six. Unfortunately, like many accomplished performers who continue to act well into their later years, Lansbury, whose primary work was in theatre, is now identified by the broader public primarily with her long-running senior citizen role in the TV series Murder, She Wrote. She also performed in some cheesy children’s movies during the 1970s. But if you want...

The Myths of Mental Illness: A Thomas Szasz Appreciation Revisited

In 2018, reacting in part to an endless litany of cases over the years of university students telling me, usually in matter-of-fact tones, that they and/or their friends had been prescribed brain-altering psychological drugs to treat depression, anxiety, sleep problems, or what have you, I finally decided to sit down and sort out in writing some of my various frustrations at this mass...

Depressing News, or Just a Chemical Imbalance?

A psychiatrist named Mark Horowitz is making waves these days by publishing research indicating that there is in fact no substantial scientific evidence showing that ordinary human depression, for which hundreds of millions of people around the world are taking powerful prescription medication, has any connection to the supposed chemical imbalance in the brain for which the standard “antidepressant” medicine is alleged to...

Reflections on Motives

The reason bureaucrats love to produce litanies of rules designed, in substance and in spirit, to reduce everyone to generic, interchangeable minions is obvious: Bureaucracy is the definitive realm of the generic, interchangeable minion, in whose work flexibility, contextual choice, and free-thinking are not merely discouraged but absolutely counterproductive. Is it any wonder that the denizens of such a mechanized realm succumb, in...

The Philosophic Life: A Questionnaire

Are you prepared to come to terms with the fact that they do not and will not want you, forever? Do you have the strength to accept that you will be hated, resented, or ridiculed by everyone who cannot understand what you do — while simultaneously knowing that almost no one alive will ever understand what you do? Have you overcome and dispensed...

Reflections on Nature, Knowledge, and Learning

Love for “nature” in the modern sense grows in inverse proportion to one’s ability to love nature in the ancient sense. That is, if humans today were more interesting, less mindlessly slavish, less devoted to the emptiest pursuits, and more open to the consideration of ideas, beauties, and ways of living truly alternative to those promoted in the popular culture, I would probably...