Tag Archives: philosophy

Spengler’s Logic of History

Oswald Spengler tells us that he’s trying something new, a kind of historical study that he calls “predetermining history”: he’s going to use an historian’s methods in order to tell us something of what is going to happen. History is … Continue reading

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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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Kierkegaard vs the Modern World

(A Review of Sylvia Walsh’s Kierkegaard and Religion: Personality, Character, and Virtue) Søren Kierkagaard is a difficult thinker in more ways than one. Not only is his writing full of abstractions and speculative notions and references to Hegel, but he … Continue reading

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