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Nietzsche on How to Find Yourself and the True Value of Education. “Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” Elizabeth Gilbert asked in framing her catalyst for creative magic. This is among life’s most abiding questions and the history of human creativity — our art and our poetry and most empathically all of our philosophy — is the history of attempts to answer it. Friedrich Nietzsche (October 15, 1844–August 25, 1900), who believed that embracing difficulty is essential for a fulfilling life, considered the journey of self-discovery one of the greatest and most fertile existential difficulties.

In 1873, as he was approaching his thirtieth birthday, Nietzsche addressed this perennial question of how we find ourselves and bring forth our gifts in a beautiful essay titled Schopenhauer as Educator (public library), part of his Untimely Meditations. Nietzsche, translated here by Daniel Pellerin, writes: Any human being who does not wish to be part of the masses need only stop making things easy for himself. Cheerfulness cannot be compulsory, whatever the T-shirts say. I once ended up at a Boy Scout ceremony in the northeast United States, where I inhaled the American spirit unfiltered. The boys’ uniforms had Stars-and-Stripes patches sewn on next to their badges. We recited the Pledge of Allegiance in front of an oversize US flag, and we prayed to America’s vague God, giving thanks for this and that, and asking for some strength or protection. The boys recited their Scout Law: to be trustworthy, loyal, helpful, and… cheerful.

As a philosopher influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche, I’d always imagined cheerfulness was a sickly child, born nine months after a Tinder date between Stoicism and Christianity. The Ancient Greeks named four virtues: temperance, wisdom, courage and justice. The Roman Stoics inched closer to prescribing cheerfulness when they decided that we should pay attention to our feelings. To the Stoic list of virtues, the Christians added faith, hope and love. If you have to tell someone to be cheerful, they aren’t feeling it. Julian Savulescu: The Philosopher Who Says We Should Play God.


Leo Tolstoy on Finding Meaning in a Meaningless World - Brain Pickings - Pocket. Shortly after turning fifty, Leo Tolstoy (September 9, 1828–November 10, 1910) succumbed to a profound spiritual crisis. With his greatest works behind him, he found his sense of purpose dwindling as his celebrity and public acclaim billowed, sinking into a state of deep depression and melancholia despite having a large estate, good health for his age, a wife who had born him fourteen children, and the promise of eternal literary fame. On the brink of suicide, he made one last grasp at light amidst the darkness of his existence, turning to the world’s great religious and philosophical traditions for answers to the age-old question regarding the meaning of life.

He likens the progression of his depression to a serious physical illness — a parallel modern science is rendering increasingly appropriate. Tolstoy writes: Then occurred what happens to everyone sickening with a mortal internal disease. He then turned to philosophy, but found himself equally disillusioned: Philosophers Name the Best Philosophy Books: From Stoicism and Existentialism, to Metaphysics & Ethics for Artificial Intelligence.

As an English major undergrad in the 90s, I had a keen side interest in reading philosophy of all kinds. But I had little sense of what I should be reading. I browsed the library shelves, picking out what caught my attention. Not a bad way to make unusual discoveries, but if you want to get a focused, not to mention current, view of a particular field, you need to have a knowledgeable guide. Back in those days, the internet was, as they say, in its infancy. How much better I would have fared if something like Five Books had existed! You may know Dr. The Five Books forum is no exception. What about the best books on Ethics for Artificial Intelligence? There are dozens more enlightening interviews and lists of five best books—on Nietzsche, Marx, and Hegel, on Existentialism, Stoicism, Consciousness, Chinese Philosophy….

Related Content: 170+ Free Online Philosophy Courses 28 Important Philosophers List the Books That Influenced Them Most During Their College Days. Before the canon: the non-European women who founded philosophy. ‘I rise to challenge you, Yajnavalkya, with two questions, much as a fierce warrior … stringing his unstrung bow and taking two deadly arrows in his hand, would rise to challenge an enemy.

Give me answers to them!’ With these daring words, Gargi Vachaknavi, a Vedic female sage, launched into philosophical debate with Yajnavalkya, the semi-legendary philosopher king and the greatest sage of his day. She repeatedly confronts him with existential questions about the fundamental ontology of the world: what is it that holds the Universe together? Yajnavalkya eventually proclaims it to be ‘the imperishable [and] on this very imperishable, Gargi, space is woven back and forth’.

Vachaknavi is satisfied, and she declares to the other Brahmins: ‘You should consider yourself lucky if you escape from this man by merely paying him your respects. None of you will ever defeat him in a philosophical debate.’ Vachaknavi is not the only female thinker that helped to shape the world’s oldest philosophy. Culture - Good Grief!: The beguiling philosophy of Peanuts. When I was growing up in the middle of nowhere in western Canada, I loved Charles M Schulz’s Peanuts comic strips.

Their meditative, downbeat tone resonated with my understanding of life. They are comic strips full of the vulnerabilities of childhood: what satisfactions they offer us are subtle and hard-won – such as those of friendship. In the nearly 18,000 strips that Schulz drew over 50 years of his career (1950-2000), adults almost never appear, and when they do they are abstracted as legs. In the animated films, on the rare occasions when they are permitted to speak, they honk unintelligibly in the background like geese.

So much for the charms of adulthood. More like this: - Alice in Wonderland’s hidden messages - The female cartoonists who draw for change - Why The Yellow Submarine is a trippy cult classic My private conduit to Charlie Brown’s interior life was shared by an astronomical number of others. Who was its creator? Question existence War games Race relations Looking within. How To Be Productive According To Ancient Philosophy. Improving productivity has been a pursuit of the modern human being from the start of civilization. Somehow, we believe that productivity is something that became important after the industrial revolution. We assume that, because we live busy lives, we need to optimize our time—especially in the 21st century.

That’s not true. Productivity has been a topic of discussion ever since ancient eastern and western philosophy started. It’s a universal theme. I believe it’s in our nature to make better use of our time. Because that’s what productivity means. Time is ticking. We watch endless hours of mind-numbing TV shows and movies. And when our lives and careers do not progress, we complain: “Why does my life suck and feel empty?” It’s time to say “No” to wasting time on useless things that do not bring you anything but short-term pleasure. Let’s start by learning the following 7 productivity lessons from the most well-known philosophers in history. 1. But what happens when you do that? 2. 3. There be monsters: from cabinets of curiosity to demons within. In 2003, a team of scientists in China managed to create embryos containing a mix of rabbit and human DNA. Most of the biological matter was human, while the rabbit DNA was present only in the mitochondria, the energy-generators of the cells.

The aim was to try to find new ways of growing and harvesting the stem cells present in early human development, which were (and are) a promising avenue for medical study and treatment. It wasn’t long, however, before controversy erupted over these so-called ‘chimeras’, as they were dubbed by some researchers. Were they human? What would happen if they were allowed to develop?

These cells were very different in appearance to their mythological namesake, the chimeras of Greek mythology that possessed a lion’s head and body, a second goat’s head, and a serpent’s tail. The meaning of monstrosity has morphed dramatically over the course of history. But monsters are restless things. Updates on everything new at Aeon. Wabi-Sabi: The Japanese Philosophy For a Perfectly Imperfect Life. Life is unpredictable. And that’s okay. Embrace it. When nothing is certain, everything is possible! Your plans for tomorrow, next month or next year may not unfold as you expect. But it’s important to make plans and move on. Landon Donovan once said, “Life isn’t perfect, of course, but we all know it’s how you react to things that counts.” Imperfection is the basic principle of Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese philosophy of accepting your imperfections and making the most of life. “Wabi” is said to be defined as “rustic simplicity” or “understated elegance” with a focus on a less-is-more mentality.

“Sabi” is translated to “taking pleasure in the imperfect.” The concept of wabi-sabi, is wide and almost impossible to distill in a single post, but can easily be applied simply to moments of everyday life. The relentless pursuit of perfection — in possessions, relationships, achievements — often leads to stress, anxiety, depression and hasty judgement. This is where wabi-sabi invites a pause. Before you go…

Why You Can’t Remember Being a Kid. We called them fairy rocks. They were just colorful specks of gravel—the kind you might buy for a fish tank—mixed into my preschool’s playground sand pit. But my classmates and I endowed them with magical properties, hunted them like treasure, and carefully sorted them into piles of sapphire, emerald, and ruby. Sifting the sand for those mystical gems is one of my earliest memories. I was no older than 3 at the time. My memory of kindergarten has likewise been reduced to isolated moments: tracing letters on tan paper with pink dashed lines; watching a movie about ocean creatures; my teacher slicing up a giant roll of parchment so we could all finger-paint self-portraits.

When I try to recall my life before my fifth birthday, I can summon only these glimmers—these match strikes in the dark. Yet I know I must have thought and felt and learned so much. Psychologists have named this dramatic forgetting “childhood amnesia.” Also in Neuroscience The Deep Space of Digital Reading References 1. Perspective in the Age of Opinion: Timely Wisdom from a Century Ago. I have worried, and continue to worry, that we have relinquished the reflective telescopic perspective for the reactionary microscopic perspective. When we surrender the grandest, often unanswerable questions to the false certitudes of the smallest, we lose something essential of our humanity. When we aim the spears of those certitudes at one another, more interested in being right than in understanding, we lose something essential.

How did we get to a place where to have an opinion is more culturally rewarded than to have a question? Hannah Arendt admonished against this dehumanizing loss decades ago in her trailblazing Gifford lecture on the life of the mind: “To lose the appetite for meaning we call thinking and cease to ask unanswerable questions [would be to] lose not only the ability to produce those thought-things that we call works of art but also the capacity to ask all the answerable questions upon which every civilization is founded.” Six decades later, John F. A philosopher explains how our addiction to stories keeps us from understanding history. “I myself am a victim to narrative,” says Alex Rosenberg, a Duke University philosophy professor whose new book hopes to convince readers that narratives — and especially narrative history — are flawed as tools of knowledge. Rosenberg is a philosopher of science and a writer of historical fiction. How History Gets Things Wrong: The Neuroscience of Our Addiction to Stories, out this week from MIT Press, does not deny that stories can be wonderful as art and effective at eliciting emotions that then push action.

But, Rosenberg tells The Verge, stories also lull us into a false sense of knowledge and fundamentally limit our understanding of the world. This interview has been lightly edited for clarity. You’re a professor of philosophy with appointments in biology and political science, and you’re also a novelist, but you’re not a neuroscientist or a historian. So how did you come to write this book? Before we get into the neuroscience part, how exactly does history get things wrong? About time: why western philosophy can only teach us so much | News. One of the great unexplained wonders of human history is that written philosophy first flowered entirely separately in different parts of the globe at more or less the same time.

The origins of Indian, Chinese and ancient Greek philosophy, as well as Buddhism, can all be traced back to a period of roughly 300 years, beginning in the 8th century BC. These early philosophies have shaped the different ways people worship, live and think about the big questions that concern us all. Most people do not consciously articulate the philosophical assumptions they have absorbed and are often not even aware that they have any, but assumptions about the nature of self, ethics, sources of knowledge and the goals of life are deeply embedded in our cultures and frame our thinking without our being aware of them. This has become something of an embarrassment for me. My philosophical journey has convinced me that we cannot understand ourselves if we do not understand others. Take the example of time. Nietzsche’s Guide to Better Living. In 1889, Nietzsche suffered the dramatic breakdown that would debilitate him until his death 11 years later: Upon catching sight of a man flogging a horse in a public square in Turin, the story goes, he threw his arms around the animal’s neck, burst into tears, and crumpled to the ground.

He had already displayed signs of volatility before this collapse. According to Kaag, Nietzsche “began to sign his letters ‘Dionysus’ ” in 1888, and he had a troubled relationship with food throughout his life, ricocheting from one extreme diet to the next. As he grappled with the specter of decadence, his austere and itinerant life represented a rejection of the indulgent spirit dulling the haute bourgeoisie of fin de siècle Europe. At 19, Kaag shared Nietzsche’s distaste for the “scripted” routines and glib gratifications that make modern life so deplorably easy. How did “Nietzsche cultivate the existential defiance or courage that led [him] up the mountain?”

The Case for Not Being Born. David Benatar may be the world’s most pessimistic philosopher. An “anti-natalist,” he believes that life is so bad, so painful, that human beings should stop having children for reasons of compassion. “While good people go to great lengths to spare their children from suffering, few of them seem to notice that the one (and only) guaranteed way to prevent all the suffering of their children is not to bring those children into existence in the first place,” he writes, in a 2006 book called “Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming Into Existence.”

In Benatar’s view, reproducing is intrinsically cruel and irresponsible—not just because a horrible fate can befall anyone, but because life itself is “permeated by badness.” In part for this reason, he thinks that the world would be a better place if sentient life disappeared altogether. For a work of academic philosophy, “Better Never to Have Been” has found an unusually wide audience. Benatar was born in South Africa in 1966. “Yes!” Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy?

The Great Philosophers 8: Theodor Adorno. How to Find Your Life Purpose? Escape Your Bubble. WiseGEEK clear answers for common questions.url. Quote by Socrates: “Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manner...” The Great Philosophers 3: Epicurus. Melissa Lane on Plato. How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love. Marxism.