Category Archives: Philosophy

Know Thyself

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s poem “Know Thyself” seems to offer up two possible interpretations, and I wonder whether Coleridge believed self-knowledge was possible or not. The poet asks “Say, canst thou make thyself?” and urges his reader to “Learn first that … Continue reading

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Notes on Susan Sontag’s “On Style”

There’s always a distance between the work of art itself and the reality it represents. This distance is “inhuman,” says Susan Sontag: it’s artificial, belonging to the representation and not coming directly from lived reality. But Sontag wants us to … Continue reading

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Hegel’s Scepticism

Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit is an exercise in scepticism. People who call themselves “sceptics” often pride themselves on having their own ideas about the world, and trusting the evidence of their own senses. This is better than accepting established truths … Continue reading

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Review of Slavoj Žižek’s Like a Thief in Broad Daylight (Part 1: “Introduction”)

Slavoj Žižek begins his book Like a Thief in Broad Daylight by discussing the purpose of philosophy. Its purpose, he says, is to “prod” people – meaning to “corrupt the youth” the way Socrates did, by challenging established norms. I … Continue reading

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Vision and Judgement

“I don’t know, let’s see.” – Alfred Korzybski Gilles Deleuze has a problem with judgement. The problem is that judgement has too prominent a place in the way human beings interpret and evaluate the world. We use judgement to make … Continue reading

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Notes on Deleuze and Guattari: A Thousand Plateaus

Segmentarity is when we divide things up, into segments. There are countless ways you can divide things. It depends what you’re trying to do. Segmentarity works “in a circular fashion,” in ever wider circles, or “in a linear fashion.” When … Continue reading

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Notes on Kierkegaard’s Fear and Trembling after reading Joakim Garff

Abraham would have been terrifying because if we had met him we would never have glimpsed his inner life. We would not have seen the man of faith. We would have seen a man who was prepared to murder his … Continue reading

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