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Philosopher Martha Nussbaum on How to Live with Our Human Fragility

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum on How to Live with Our Human Fragility
by Maria Popova “To be a good human being is to have a kind of openness to the world, an ability to trust uncertain things beyond your own control.” In 1988, Bill Moyers produced a series of intelligent, inspiring, provocative conversations with a diverse set of cultural icons, ranging from Isaac Asimov to Noam Chomsky to Chinua Achebe. It was unlike any public discourse to have ever graced the national television airwaves before. The following year, the interviews were transcribed and collected in the magnificent tome Bill Moyers: A World of Ideas (public library). Martha Nussbaum Moyers begins by framing Nussbaum’s singular approach to philosophy and, by extension, to the art of living: MOYERS: The common perception of a philosopher is of a thinker of abstract thoughts. Being a human means accepting promises from other people and trusting that other people will be good to you. Illustration by Alice and Martin Provensen from 'The Iliad and the Odyssey: A Giant Golden Book.' Related:  meaning of lifeCreativity & UncertaintyFilosofia

12 Lifestyle Factors That Make You Feel Depressed Many clients come to me believing there is “something wrong” with them. They believe they’re fundamentally flawed, or they're making a last-ditch attempt at life, often with plans to end theirs if things don’t improve. However, more often than not, the root of their depression is not a biochemical imbalance or a life-sentence. 1. Of all the research out there, social connection is one of the most proven ways to prevent and cure depression. 2. Ever been through a breakup, lost a job, experienced the loss of a family member or pet, or found yourself out of school for the first time? 3. Ever noticed how much more fragile and lethargic you are after a bad sleep? 4. From an existential perspective, we require meaning in our lives for happiness. 5. Imagine how worthless you’d feel if you had a verbally-abusive friend, partner, or parent beside you at all times. 6. Along with social connection, exercise is another variable that is highly supported in its relationship to depression. 7. 8. 9.

Happy Birthday, Milton Glaser: The Iconic Designer on Art, Money, Education, and the Kindness of the Universe by Maria Popova “If you perceive the universe as being a universe of abundance, then it will be. If you think of the universe as one of scarcity, then it will be.” Milton Glaser — legendary mastermind of the famous I♥NY logo, author of delightful and little-known vintage children’s books, notorious notebook-doodler, modern-day sage of art and purpose — is celebrated by many as the greatest graphic designer alive. From How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer (public library) — the same fantastic anthology of conversations with creative icons that gave us Paula Scher’s slot machine metaphor for creativity and Massimo Vignelli on intellectual elegance, education, and love — comes a fascinating and remarkably heartening conversation that reveals the inner workings of this beautiful mind and beautiful spirit. What E. While other great designers have created cool posters, beautiful book covers, and powerful logos, Milton Glaser has actually lifted this age he inhabits. Donating = Loving

What Wittgenstein Learned from Teaching Elementary School What the philosopher learned from his time in elementary-school classrooms. Ludwig Wittgenstein, who knew how to sully a chalkboard with the best of them. Every philosophy major has at some point had to answer the standard challenge: “What are you going to do, teach?” It’s especially frustrating after you realize that, for someone with a humanist bent and a disinterest in worldlier things, teaching is a pretty good career choice. By the time he decided to teach, Wittgenstein was well on his way to being considered the greatest philosopher alive. At this time in his life—around 1919, when he turned thirty—Wittgenstein wanted badly to transform himself. You remind me of somebody who is looking out through a closed window and cannot explain to himself the strange movements of a passer-by. In 1920, after a year of training, Wittgenstein took up a post at an elementary school in Trattenbach. He cut a strange figure in Trattenbach. Wittgenstein and his pupils in Puchberg, 1923.

How to Dare to Begin It’s natural to think that it must be a huge advantage for artists living in Paris to have the Louvre on their doorstep. All that inspiration. All that encouragement. They can drop in at any time and see the works of the greatest masters. So, it can be a bit of a shock to learn that quite a few of the most interesting artists have harboured very different feelings about the museum. Corot, Camille Pissarro, Apollinaire, Braque, Picasso, Gauguin, Léger, Duchamp: at various times in their lives they all expressed the same longing – to burn the place to the ground. Think of a Bach concerto or the uncanny fit of words and music in Hey Jude; the white garden at Sissinghurst or the poetry of E. Imagine you were really interested in painting, because you’d fallen in love with some of the works of Raphael. Raphael, Saint Catherine of Alexandria (1507) You might be keen to look at his paintings at every available opportunity, but doing so might be both thrilling and depressing. It’s very lovely.

A Moment in Eternity: Adolfo Bioy Casares’ The Invention of Morel | anendurin... Octavio Paz says calls The Invention of Morel, “without exaggeration… a perfect novel.” According to Borges, “to classify [it] as perfect is neither an imprecision nor a hyperbole.” It has influenced creations as diverse as the works of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the influential French film Last Year at Marienbad, and the television series Lost. Wikipedia says (albeit, without citation) that “many consider it… to be one of the best pieces of fantastic fiction.” First things first - The Invention of Morel is entirely resistant to genre classifications. The second thing is that it is virtually impossible to write a review of this short, 90-page novella, because everything turns upon a single premise that, if revealed, would spoil the story, but without which nothing would make any kind of sense. The story is told from the point of view of a fugitive who, fleeing from the law, has arrived upon a remote and inaccessible island, where he determines to live out the rest of his life. Like this:

Anaïs Nin on Embracing the Unfamiliar by Maria Popova “It is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar.” We’ve already seen that life is about living the questions, that the unknown is what drives science, and that the most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. John Keats wrote of this art of remaining in doubt “without any irritable reaching after fact & reason” and famously termed it “negative capability.” But count on Anaïs Nin to articulate familiar truths in the most exquisitely poetic way possible, peeling away at the most profound and aspirational aspects of what it means to be human. In a diary entry from the winter of 1949-1950, found in The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 5: 1947-1955 (public library), which gave us Nin’s whimsical antidote to city life and her poignant meditation on character, parenting, and personal responsibility, she observes: Educators do all in their power to prepare you to enjoy reading after college. Donating = Loving Brain Pickings has a free weekly newsletter.

The Enchiridion by Epictetus Commentary: A few comments have been posted about The Enchiridion. Download: A 40k text-only version is available for download. The EnchiridionBy Epictetus Written 135 A.C.E. Erik Orsenna : “J’aime passer de la célérité à l’extrême lenteur ” Le | • Mis à jour le | Propos recueillis par Anne-Sophie Novel Série. A une époque de profondes mutations, le rapport au temps est chamboulé. Nous avons invité des personnalités et des anonymes de tous horizons à se confier sur ce vaste sujet. Cette semaine, Erik Orsenna, économiste, écrivain, membre de l’Académie Française, et ancien conseiller de François Mitterrand. Lorsqu’on l’interroge sur son rapport au temps, l’académicien glisse spontanément : « J’aime me tromper, et le fait d’opérer chaque semaine un examen de conscience sur les erreurs que j’ai faites me permet d’avancer ». Le temps est-il un sujet d’inspiration pour vous ? Le temps est d’une infinie diversité qui me ravit, une diversité plus vaste que celle de l’espace. Comment se répartit votre temps d’écriture ? Il s’aménage selon deux dimensions : le long terme, qui me permet de savoir deux ou trois ans à l’avance ce que je vais écrire. “Aucun livre n’est de l’ordre de l’urgence. D’une certaine manière, oui.

Kierkegaard on Our Greatest Source of Unhappiness by Maria Popova Hope, memory, and how our chronic compulsion to flee from our own lives robs us of living. “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives,” Annie Dillard memorably wrote in reflecting on why presence matters more than productivity. “On how one orients himself to the moment depends the failure or fruitfulness of it,” Henry Miller asserted in his beautiful meditation on the art of living. And yet we spend our lives fleeing from the present moment, constantly occupying ourselves with overplanning the future or recoiling with anxiety over its impermanence, thus invariably robbing ourselves of the vibrancy of aliveness. Kierkegaard, who was only thirty at the time, begins with an observation all the timelier today, amidst our culture of busy-as-a-badge-of-honor: Of all ridiculous things the most ridiculous seems to me, to be busy — to be a man who is brisk about his food and his work. The unhappy one is absent. Consider first the hoping individual. Donating = Loving