In “Reclaiming the Power of Play, Stephen Asma notes that “play is also a crucial part of the full life of the human animal, and yet philosophers have said very little about it.” And yet philosophy is a kind of play: “What would, and what should, we do with our free time? After the world of work, will we have the time, energy and ambition to do philosophy, make art, study history, master languages and make craft beers? Will we play creatively as ‘holy yea-sayers,’ or will we just watch more TV?”
Socrates considers snack mix
Dan Pashman humorously asks whether it is ethical to cherry-pick your favorite ingredient from a snack mix. Socrates, Hobbes, Kant, and Nietzsche weigh in.
The recurring myth about Nietzsche and fascism
Brian Leiter explains that when student members of the Union Council at University College London banned the Nietzsche Club, their “action betray[ed] profound misunderstandings of both Nietzsche and of universities.”
A philosopher cuts the umbilical cord
… literally. “A philosopher on the brink of fatherhood contemplates how he got there.”
Nietzsche club banned
University College London bans its Nietzsche club. “The Nietzsche Club was barred from holding meetings at University College London after a ruling that discussions about right-wing philosophers could encourage fascism and endanger the student body.” Nietzsche all too often is linked to things he would have condemned.
Consciousness … what is it good for?
What’s the point of consciousness? David Barash, an evolutionary biologist and “aspiring Buddhist,” suggests that the evolutionary advantage of consciousness “includes our efforts to interpret what other individuals are doing, feeling and thinking, as well as how those others are likely to perceive us in return.” How far is this from Nietzsche’s hypothesis that consciousness is not a self-contained sphere of individuality but is instead a net of communication among individuals?
The Onion deploys Nietzsche for satire
Kidnapped teen freed, though freedom is its own kind of prison, is is not? But who or what is the target of the satire? Nietzsche, scholars who write about him, the press … surely not philosophy professors?
‘Madness’ of Nietzsche was cancer not syphilis
What it means to lead a good life. A. C. Grayling’s review of James Miller’s Examined Lives. “His conclusion is a negative one: the combination of wisdom, self-understanding, and self-possession that Socrates’s successors took to be the gold standard for the philosophical life proved impossible for most of them to attain, and, in some cases, what they preached and what they practised fell widely apart.” Sarah Bakewell’s review in New York Times.