The Life You Give: Jean-Paul Sartre *VI 21 1905

Jean-Paul Sartre, born June 21, 1905, in Paris, France, is the philosopher, novelist, and playwright, best known as the leading exponent of existentialism in the 20th century. In 1964 he declined the Nobel Prize for Literature, which had been awarded to him “for his work which, rich in ideas and filled with the spirit of… Continue reading The Life You Give: Jean-Paul Sartre *VI 21 1905

The Life You Give: José Ortega y Gasset *1883

José Ortega y Gasset, (born May 9, 1883, Madrid, Spain, is the philosopher and humanist who greatly influenced the cultural and literary renaissance of Spain in the 20th century. Ortega y Gasset studied at Madrid University (1898–1904) and in Germany (1904–08) and was influenced by the neo-Kantian philosophical school at Marburg. As professor of metaphysics… Continue reading The Life You Give: José Ortega y Gasset *1883

The Life You Give: Søren Kierkegaard *1813

Søren Kierkegaard, born Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, on May 5, 1813, in Copenhagen, Denmark, is the philosopher, theologian, and cultural critic who was a major influence on existentialism and Protestant theology in the 20th century. He attacked the literary, philosophical, and ecclesiastical establishments of his day for misrepresenting the highest task of human existence—namely, becoming oneself… Continue reading The Life You Give: Søren Kierkegaard *1813

The Life You Give: Ludwig Wittgenstein *1889

Ludwig Wittgenstein, born Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein, on April 26, 1889, Vienna, Austria-Hungary [now in Austria], is the philosopher, regarded by many as the greatest philosopher of the 20th century. Wittgenstein’s two major works, Logisch-philosophische Abhandlung (1921; Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, 1922) and Philosophische Untersuchungen (published posthumously in 1953; Philosophical Investigations), have inspired a vast secondary literature… Continue reading The Life You Give: Ludwig Wittgenstein *1889

Celebration Day I: January 1 2022 — Happy Birthday, Edmund Burke *1.1.1729

Edmund Burke, born January 1, [Old Style], 1729, in Dublin, Ireland, was statesman, parliamentary orator, and political thinker prominent in public life from 1765 to about 1795 and important in the history of political theory. He championed conservatism in opposition to Jacobinism in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790).Early lifeBurke, the son of a… Continue reading Celebration Day I: January 1 2022 — Happy Birthday, Edmund Burke *1.1.1729

“The Human Crisis” — lecture by Albert Camus, in New York, on March 28 1946

Ladies and Gentlemen: when I was invited to give a series of lectures in the United States of America, I felt some doubt and hesitation. I am really not old enough to give lectures, and I am more at ease with the process of thinking than I am making categorical statements... since I don’t feel… Continue reading “The Human Crisis” — lecture by Albert Camus, in New York, on March 28 1946

“It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.”*

My father, lovingly, forced me to think but I am not a philosopher. During my upbringing I was taught to trust, believe. I do but filled with questions because I believe in the intellect which dwells on beauty and the ugly alike — perhaps the fruit of thinking. I surrender increasingly to the vibrancy of… Continue reading “It is not your paintings I like, it is your painting.”*

The Legacy of Edwin Fisher — a conversation with musicologist and philosopher Vlad Vexler

You are herewith welcome to join a conversation about the pianist, conductor Edwin Fisher. In celebration of his birth — October 6 1886 — we will speak about the essence of music, and the importance of interpretation. Come to the Pianos, Hammers and Keys Club, and join the conversation, on Clubhouse — October 6 at… Continue reading The Legacy of Edwin Fisher — a conversation with musicologist and philosopher Vlad Vexler

Is joy the chicken or the egg? (A gentle reiteration on the question on a question)

“Life is suffering, and we spend our lives looking for happiness.” This was her expressed view during our conversation. Is it not fair to say that life is pleasure, happiness, joy, and we erroneously spend energy and passion in search of suffering? — Notes on a Clubhouse conversation

Philosophy, Music, and Food

Philosophy, music, and food, none of these are an industry. Yes, there are industries using thought, music and food to produce money, financial games, and imperial bodies. However, a sincere, talented and dedicated human who spends a good amount of energy dissecting thoughts, composing or interpreting music, or creating food of value, are merely contributing… Continue reading Philosophy, Music, and Food

Prolonging Transcendental States

“Transcendent states are often desperately short-lived: a few moments late at night or at dusk; on a plane or train journey across wide open country. But we can, through certain ingredients (especially lavender, cardamom, turmeric, and cinnamon), access them a little more systematically and thereby loosen the grip of our insistent egos.”In “Thinking & Eating”,… Continue reading Prolonging Transcendental States

Nietzsche’s Risotto

Typically, however much we enjoy eating, we do not normally think that what we put on our plates is particularly meaningful. One person who took a different view was the 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. In January 1877, while staying in Italy, he wrote a letter to his mother mentioning that he had discovered… Continue reading Nietzsche’s Risotto