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  • Originally published 05/29/2013

    How to Cope with Information Overload

    Image via Shutterstock.In the 1840s, in his Purity of Heart Is to Will One Thing, Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wrote:A man .... steps out into the world’s multiplicity, like one that comes from the country into the great noisy city, into the multiplicity where men engrossed in affairs hurry past one another, where each looks out for what belongs to him in the vast "back and forth," where everything is in passing ... For here one can experience everything possible, or that everything is possible. ... So this man stands there. He has in himself a susceptibility for the disease of double-mindedness. ... Swiftly, alas, swiftly he is infected -- one more victim. This is nothing new, but an old story. As it has happened to him, so it has happened with the double-minded ones who have gone before him.

  • Originally published 05/04/2013

    Philosophy Matters

    Martin Heidegger, one of Hitler's philosophers. Credit: Wiki Commons/HNN.With today's heated rhetoric against the study of history and philosophy, it's worth reminding our readers that philosophy matters, and -- tragically -- one of the ways it matters is how it can be twisted into support for atrocities.

  • Originally published 02/13/2013

    Justin E. H. Smith: The Enlightenment’s ‘Race’ Problem, and Ours

    Justin E. H. Smith teaches philosophy at Concordia University in Montreal. His most recent book is “Divine Machines: Leibniz and the Sciences of Life.” He is a contributing editor of Cabinet Magazine, and writes regularly on his blog.In 1734, Anton Wilhelm Amo, a West African student and former chamber slave of Duke Anton Ulrich of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel, defended a philosophy dissertation at the University of Halle in Saxony, written in Latin and entitled “On the Impassivity of the Human Mind.” A dedicatory letter was appended from the rector of the University of Wittenberg, Johannes Gottfried Kraus, who praised “the natural genius” of Africa, its “appreciation for learning,” and its “inestimable contribution to the knowledge of human affairs” and of “divine things.” Kraus placed Amo in a lineage that includes many North African Latin authors of antiquity, such as Terence, Tertullian and St. Augustine.

  • Originally published 01/24/2013

    Louis René Beres: Ancient Manuscripts and Modern Politics

    Louis René Beres, Professor of Political Science and International Law at Purdue, was educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971). He is currently examining previously unexplored connections between human death fears and world politics. Born in Zürich, Switzerland, at the end of World War II, Professor Beres is the author of ten books, and several hundred articles, on international relations and international law. He is a regular contributor to the OUPblog.Oddly, perhaps, there are striking similarities between Western Epicureanism and Eastern Buddhism. Even a cursory glance at Lucretius, On The Nature of Things, reveals a characteristically “Buddhist” position on human oneness and human transience. Greek and Roman Stoicism, too, share this animating concept, a revealing vision of both interpersonal connectedness and civilizational impermanence.

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