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”.
The opening chapters of Heidegger’s Being and Time establishes the structural reality of existential being. Again, Heidegger is attempting several things in his great treatise, but the boiled down “to the point” project is that Heidegger is attempting to recover the philosophy of metaphysical ontology (being) and, by this recovery, avoid the problems of nihilism, relativism, and […]Heidegger: “Being-in-the-World” as “Being-With”
A Swedish book was on my list for this week but unfortunately, it doesn’t exist in English. Therefore, I will do my best to share the essence of it and make you feel like you’ve read it. Instead of doing a traditional summary of the book, I will simply take out parts from every chapter […]Week 2 – “It’s All In Your Head” by Michael Södermalm
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was a German-American philosopher and political theorist. Her many books and articles on topics ranging from totalitarianism to epistemology have had a lasting influence on political theory. Arendt is widely considered one of the most important political philosophers of the twentieth century.
Reading Arendt today is very helpful to have an explanation about the crisis of authorities, from parental one to politics, from educational authority to societal figures. So how can Arendt tell us more about 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 is easier to read than her other books. It 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.
Le nomade vit dans un espace formé de points (point d’eau etc.) qui sont des relais dans un trajet. Les hommes et les bêtes sont distribués dans un espace ouvert. La loi est le nomos (contrairement à la polis qui a un arrière-plan stable) dans cet espace lisse qui s’oppose à l’espace sédentaire, strié et clôturé de l’Etat.
Mais le nomade n’est pas le migrant qui est constamment en mouvement. Le nomade s’installe et le mouvement de ces deux types de personnages diffère. Le nomade est déterritorialisé, le migrant se reterritorialise après et le sédentaire se reterritorialise sur la terre de l’Etat : « Bref, on dira par convention que seul le nomade à un mouvement absolu, c’est-à-dire une vitesse ; le mouvement tourbillonnaire ou tournant appartient essentiellement à sa machine de guerre » (Mille Plateaux p.473).
Avec le nomade, la terre devient sol, ce qui fait de lui le vecteur de la déterritorialisation. Paradoxalement, le nomade est dans un absolu local qui se manifeste dans des opérations à orientations diverses : le désert, la steppe, la glace, la mer, comme l’affirment Deleuze et Guattari.
Le résumé de Mille Plateaux se trouvent sur le lien suivant:
My hometown famous writer, Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), was a Lebanese-American writer, poet and a painter, also considered a philosopher although he rejected this title. Gibran’s life has been described as one “often caught between Nietzschean rebellion, Blakean pantheism and Sufi mysticism”. He wrote about love, happiness, religion, justice, soul, death, life and so on.
He wrote his most famous book, The Prophet in 1923, while in New York. I personally think it has been very much inspired by Nietzsche’s Thus spoke Zarathustra. The Prophet is divided into chapters dealing with love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, houses, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, justice and all topics of human questionning.
I picked this paragraph of it for all of us to meditate upon:
This book is a must-read. I would love to know how do you interpret this prose poetry. Please leave you comments down below
If I have to recommend one writer, it would be him: Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Simply, magnificent! And my favorite book is : The Brothers Karamazov! It is a masterpiece.
Dostoyevsky wrote this quote in his book: The Idiot.
It can be understood as God. God is beauty. So, God/beauty will save the world.
It can also be understood as love. Love is beauty and only love is what we need to make the world a better place.
What about beauty and aesthetics? Is art the world savior? It can also be an interpretation for this quote.
Now things get complicated with this quote taken from: The Brothers Karamazov:
So, how would the world be saved? If God and the devil are fighting in “beauty” which is in the heart of the man, does it mean love will save us all? This quotes describes to me the tragic human condition. What do you say on this?
Insightful book about Anarchism and the importance of its serious consideration in politics today. In this essay, Noam Chomsky defines Anarchism as a skepticism about any type of authority which needs to be questioned constantly in order to justify its legitimacy. In other words, any authority that doesn’t justify its actions is not legitimate and therefore should be dismantled or replaced. This book is a wake up call to all people to question themselves first on their blind acceptance of their political structures the way they are. Second, it is a call to read Anarchist philosophers and to be inspired from their actions.
It is crucial to distinguish the American concepts of Anarchism and Liberalism from the European ones. Historically, in Europe, Anarchism is a political movement, spontaneous sometimes, that as aforementioned question authorities and fight for freedom and social justice. European Anarchism is synonymous to Liberalism. Whereas in U.S.A, Liberalism is ultra-conservative and capitalistic, which is the opposite of the original Anarchism. Moreover, the word “anarchy” as chaos was forged from the word “anarchism” by the opponents of the latter to point out its danger. Any authority is scared of Anarchism because Anarchism doesn’t believe in any system unless it is a voluntary organization based on the general will of its people.
To give more objectivity to his speech, Noam Chomsky analyzes some historical events, mainly the Spanish war and others, only to find that the real revolutionary people who wanted to change the world and make it a better place, were all anarchists.
This book is a great read. For the full review please check the link below: