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Category: Philosophy

Self-Reliance in the Age of Pandemics

Self-Reliance in the Age of Pandemics

It was never the case, at least not in the modern world. Outside a few. Outside a few lone souls, able to live on grass and berries. Able to hunt and gather, make their own shelters, their own clothes, treat themselves when they got sick. Pull their own teeth. Make and fix their own modest tools. Having next to no layers between themselves and the earth. Right there. Being there always. Right on top of the earth, like mother and…

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Finite Lives

Finite Lives

Kobe Bryant’s passing, at 41, is a tragedy, as are the deaths of his daughter, Gianna, just 13, and the seven others on board that helicopter. Millions across the globe have been impacted by this, perhaps especially the generation that grew up along with Kobe, watching his evolution into one of the NBA’s all-time greats. His peers in the game of basketball have spoken out, too, some tearfully, and it’s apparent they honestly grieve this loss. My own reactions were…

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The Ironies They are a Changin’

The Ironies They are a Changin’

Different times blah blah blah Call for different blah blah blahs As in Right now there is no reason For all of those blah blahs And extra blah blahs None We need to be direct! Tell it like it is And not worry so much about Offending the cliché police The earth the sea the once blue air      The glaciers the beleaguered soil      The fires this time So instead of stories about this or that           Neuroses This…

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Integration at Four O’Clock

Integration at Four O’Clock

I wonder about the ideal all too often. I wonder if we were ever, as a species, supposed to attain something even close to an ideal. But that doesn’t stop me from wool-gathering, looking at clouds, staring at the darkness in my coffee cup, etc. That doesn’t stop me from questioning, endlessly, the way things are. How should we raise our kids and ourselves? Because, of course, all the while we think we’re raising them, they’re raising us in a…

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Meaningful Searches, Exits and Traps

Meaningful Searches, Exits and Traps

  The (Post-)Modern Search for Meaning: Tolstoy’s Escape from the Trap   A Reflection by Sean Howard   For the last few years, a close friend has been complaining, with light touch but increasingly heavy heart, of a deep-seated creative malaise, an impasse in his search for an authentic voice and message. Among other sources, his depression can be traced to his intense and academically accomplished engagement with Wittgenstein, whose humbling exposé of the ‘language game’ – and, therewith, what…

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Tony Jones: The Perils of Binary Thinking

Tony Jones: The Perils of Binary Thinking

  Friday, March 28th, 2008 Another way of saying “binary thinking” is “dualistic thinking.” It’s become something of a cliche in postmodernity to decry “western dualism,” so I’m going to avoid the phrase to stave off my own boredom and perhaps make a more trenchant point. I’ve noticed that North Americans are terrible about seeing things in (cliche again) “black” and “white”, good or bad, this or that. To some extent, just to use ordinary conversational english you have to…

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