Tagged: philosophy

Two Reflections: Art, Abnormality

The purpose of art is to reveal truth. Not facts, not slogans, not trendy attitudes, and certainly not the ephemeral feelings or passions of the artist himself. Truth, meaning something unchanging and essential to a proper understanding of some element of reality, whether regarding human nature, the structures of civil order, or the ordering principles of the cosmos. Anything, therefore, which purports to...

The Question of the Body

As much as our modern temperament is inclined to demand simple reductions of everything — simple reductions being the wisdom of the common man, suitable for an egalitarian age that has elevated commonness to an ideal — there is in truth no single question that defines or epitomizes philosophical investigation. Rather, the essential questions of the philosophic pursuit may be represented as manifestations...

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...

Existentialism and Death

The essential philosophic question, according to existentialism — whether it declares itself openly or not — is “Why bother to live?” Or stated more positively, “Why not choose to die?” This question, the existentialists suggest, inevitably arises from history’s revelation that all meaning is illusory, and therefore all answers futile, all purposes contradictory — all life “absurd,” to use the term identified most...

An Energy Crisis

The world’s current fidgeting over rising energy prices amid the Russian war of attrition in Ukraine, as though our daily convenience is reason enough to let a rabid tyrant go ahead and blow out the doors of his cage, got me to thinking what a wonderful metaphor this impending “energy crisis” has become for so much of what has gone miserably wrong with...

Whispering in a Crowd

The philosopher eschews the crowd, knowing that neither will his lone, strange voice be heard above the crowd’s incessant and familiar din, nor will his pointed questions and logical complexities penetrate minds caked in the mire of the tribe’s roiling certainties. This has been axiomatic among thinkers from the earliest times: The crowd is the enemy of thought, and hence of conversation, and...

Surface and Depth

The great modern error, resulting from the spiritual dialectic of modernity: desire as depth. Thesis: Reason is a calculative response to the imperatives of passion; hence the passions comprise the original “state of nature.” Antithesis: If passion is our original nature, then reason, which dilutes or repurposes passion, is a corruption of nature. Synthesis: Desire is reality; reason is merely the deforming mask...

Too Embarrassed to Live

We do not know why we are here. Hence, every expression of disinterest — and worse, every dismissive certainty – about this question bespeaks a detachment from life itself. There is no life without definition. There is no definition without essence. There is no essence without purpose. “Why are we here?” To the extent that this question has become a laughingstock, a joke...

Wisdom In Context

All thought, as expressed, is in part a temperamental response to circumstances. Thus it is a mistake to imagine any single great thought is The Thought, unless it be a thought arisen from universal circumstances. This is why all searches eventually return to Greece, which, partly due to its being the first flower of mature poetry, philosophy, and politics, appeals to all thinking...

Patience Worn Thin

A headline I just read, from the Washington Post: ‘Patience has worn thin’: Frustration mounts over vaccine holdouts My patience has worn thin with propagandized “frustration” against any human being who believes he still has the right to make his own decisions, and judge his own needs. My patience has worn thin with people who assume you will believe exactly what they believe...