The Dangers of Thinking Too Hard: Philosophy as Despair

People love to harp on philosophy. Depending on who you ask, philosophy is all word-games, over-analysis, worthless abstraction, etc. From Aquinas's theorizing about how many angels might fit on the head of a pin to Russell's abstruse investigations of infinite sets, philosophy is rife with seemingly pointless theories. Most days, I am quick to defend … Continue reading The Dangers of Thinking Too Hard: Philosophy as Despair

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Social Resources: Heidegger Against the Smartphone

You're out at dinner with some friends and midway through, you whip out your phone. You take pictures of your food and your friends. Why? Certainly not just to remember the evening--you're going to post those photos to Instagram after all. No, you take the pictures so you can share the pictures. You share the … Continue reading Social Resources: Heidegger Against the Smartphone

Grief and Pancakes: Dostoevsky’s Answer to the Problem of Suffering

We have forgotten the power in the phrase “the death of God.” Like all cliches, it has been drained of its color, its poignance, and perhaps even its usefulness. Though written shortly before Nietzsche’s famous pronouncement, The Brothers Karamazov reminds us what that famous phrase entails. Ivan, one of the titular brothers, grieves God. He … Continue reading Grief and Pancakes: Dostoevsky’s Answer to the Problem of Suffering

Your Immortal Soul and You: How to Stare at Eternity Without Flinching

"Like children you are haunted," Socrates says "with a fear that when the soul leaves the body, the wind may really blow her away."1 Why yes, Socrates, I am haunted by that fear. I fret frequently over my soul. The prospect of annihilation upon death has fueled scores of sleepless nights. Like many people, I can't … Continue reading Your Immortal Soul and You: How to Stare at Eternity Without Flinching