The first few pages hooked me, and I devoured it over several days, capturing hundreds of Kindle highlights in the process. It’s quite unlike anything I’ve ever read, and one of my favorite chapters is titled “Cosmic Insignificance Therapy.”The Liberation of Cosmic Insignificance Therapy
Considered as a pioneer of feminist philosophers, Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986) was one of the most important French existentialist philosophers and writers. Working alongside other famous existentialists such as Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, de Beauvoir wrote excessively on ethics, feminism, fiction, autobiography, and politics.
In The Ethics of Ambiguity, she developed an existentialist ethics that condemned the “spirit of seriousness” in which people too readily identify with certain abstractions at the expense of individual freedom and responsibility. In The Second Sex, she produced an articulate attack on the fact that throughout history women have been relegated to a passive acceptance of roles assigned to them by society. Freedom, responsibility, and ambiguity are main concepts of existentialist philosophy shown in her works.
Her influences include French philosophy from Descartes to Bergson, the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger, the historical materialism of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, and the idealism of Immanuel Kant and G. W. F Hegel. Her most famous and influential philosophical work, The Second Sex (1949), remains to this day a central text in the investigation of women’s oppression and liberation.
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a German-American philosopher and political theorist. Her many books and articles have had a considerable influence on political theory. Arendt is widely considered one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century.
Is reading Arendt today helpful to explain the crisis of all types of authorities in today’s world?
“In her anthology Crises of the Republic, consisting of four essays, “Lying in Politics”, “Civil Disobedience”, “On Violence” and “Thoughts on Politics and Revolution”, she studies the contemporary American politics and the crises it faced in the 1960s and 1970s. “Lying in Politics” (which is one of the main criteria of politics as said by Nicolas Machiavelli) looks for an explanation behind the administration’s deception regarding the Vietnam War, as revealed in the Pentagon Papers. “Civil Disobedience” examines the opposition movements, while the final “Thoughts on Politics and Revolution” is a commentary, in the form of an interview on the third essay, “On Violence”. In the latter, Arendt declares that violence presupposes power which she understands as a property of groups”.
This anthology sums up the reasons why politics have failed to trust it in general. Adding to lying and violence, social media and mass communication brought systems down. Being States in States, social media sites and platforms are transnational, dismantling frontiers and old values. Demystification and opinions rage, followed by civil disobedience, lead to crises in democracies and Republics.
Authority has never been more fragile.
Originally published in 1987, Bruce Duffy reimagined the lives of Bertrand Russell, G.E Moore and Ludwig Wittgenstein as they happened. Wittgenstein, a troubled and a troubling man, is a central figure in this biographical novel.
Between wars and peace during the 20th century, the lives and the minds of these great men were shaped and constantly changed depending on he general circumstances of the world back then.
This novel is a deep introduction to the theories of our heroes and a must read for those interested in them.
Are you attracted to philosophy? If so, you might like these books: DK – The Philosophy Book: Big Ideas Simply Explained The School of Life, Anna Doherty & Alain de Botton – Big Ideas for Curious Minds: An Introduction to Philosophy John Gray – Feline Philosophy: Cats and the Meaning of LifePhilosophy Quote By Peter Kreeft: “Violence is spiritual…”
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) was a German philosopher and one of the most influential of all times. He is considered as one of the first existentialists philosophers and his books are still widely read and discussed. Let’s take a look at his most important works, highly recommended to be read:
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Very much inspired by Jesus’s parables like way of speaking, this book is the most representative of Nietzsche’s philosophy and vision. In it, one would find the issue of the death of God and Superhuman appearance.
On the Genealogy of Morality
Nietzsche discusses various concepts of ethics, morality and religion. His idea is to reject the “slave morality” and adopt the Superhuman way of thinking.
It is the autobiography of Nietzsche, written little before he became ill. He examines his life and his work, an intimate intake on his conceptual and beliefs system.
The Birth of Tragedy
Nietzsche describes life as tragic and music is the correlation of the existential tragedy and aesthetics. This book is a profound essay on art as intertwined with life.
Bookshelf Recommendation: 7.4 ~~~the catchiest of titles~~~ Just look at that happy little face! I break. How can we not love him? Man just be out here trying to make the world a better place. Hazar! Welcome to one of my more significant posts. I have been working through this (not quite hefty, but at […]Bertrand Russell- Why I Am Not a Christian and other essays on religion and related subjects — The Bookshelf
“The World is My Idea” this is a truth which holds good for everything that lives and knows To Schopenhauer’s masterpiece the world as will and idea Schopenhauer is more closer to me than my father Schopenhauer is the essence of my soul I read and re-read his first page of the volume world as […]A Tribute to Schopenhauer “The World is my Idea”
In the novel, The Uninhabitable Earth, David Wallace-Wells sets out a frightening vision: The world we live in is on the verge of drastic and catastrophic change. We have essentially destroyed our world beyond repair. Complacency and ignorance have finally caught up with us; our once-prosperous lives will soon come to a halt and crash. […]Are we on an uninhabitable planet?
Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) was a German philosopher who committed suicide for not being able to escape under sieged France. The text was below was taken from his books The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1936), an essay on cultural criticism on mass reproduction that undervalues the uniqueness of art.
“The mass is a matrix from which all traditional behavior toward works of art issues today in a new form. Quantity has been transmuted into quality. The greatly increased mass of participants has produced a change in the mode of participation. The fact that the new mode of participation first appeared in a disreputable form must not confuse the spectator. Yet some people have launched spirited attacks against precisely this superficial aspect. Among these, Duhamel has expressed himself in the most radical manner. What he objects to most is the kind of participation which the movie elicits from the masses. Duhamel calls the movie “a pastime for helots, a diversion for uneducated, wretched, worn-out creatures who are consumed by their worries a spectacle which requires no concentration and presupposes no intelligence which kindles no light in the heart and awakens no hope other than the ridiculous one of someday becoming a ‘star’ in Los Angeles.” Clearly, this is at bottom the same ancient lament that the masses seek distraction whereas art demands concentration from the spectator. That is a commonplace.
Distraction and concentration form polar opposites which may be stated as follows: A man who concentrates before a work of art is absorbed by it. He enters into this work of art the way legend tells of the Chinese painter when he viewed his finished painting. In contrast, the distracted mass absorbs the work of art. This is most obvious with regard to buildings. Architecture has always represented the prototype of a work of art the reception of which is consummated by a collectivity in a state of distraction. The laws of its reception are most instructive.
The distracted person, too, can form habits. More, the ability to master certain tasks in a state of distraction proves that their solution has become a matter of habit
Reception in a state of distraction, which is increasing noticeably in all fields of art and is symptomatic of profound changes in apperception, finds in the film its true means of exercise”.