Category Archives: Philosophy-Popular

Writing About Timeless Themes

“Hegel and Napoleon in Jena” (illustration from Harper’s Magazine, 1895)

Lately, I have felt conflicted as I start to write a post. Should I write about timeless topics like the meaning of life and death, cosmic evolution, truth, beauty, goodness, justice, love, etc. or should I pen a short essay about current events, especially political ones? Continue reading Writing About Timeless Themes

Coronavirus: We Are All Interconnected

Vox did its usual excellent job of reporting and analysis in the above video about the origins of the coronavirus. Now that the WHO officially declared the virus a pandemic—and since I live in Seattle, one of the epicenters of the virus—here are a few philosophical lessons that we might relearn. Continue reading Coronavirus: We Are All Interconnected

Is Philosophy Dangerous?

Left to right: Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Buddha, Confucius, AverroesClockwise from top left – Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Averroes, Confucius, the Buddha

In my last post, I applauded a reader’s search for truth. I concluded that post as follows:

it’s easy to accept the first ideas you’re taught and be done with it. What’s hard is to keep searching and growing and changing, never anchoring as Kazantzakis put it. The search for truth is just so much nobler and humbler than simply affirming the first ideas you encountered.

I still agree with my conclusion but feel compelled to add a few caveats. Continue reading Is Philosophy Dangerous?

Searching for Truth

The School of Athens by Raphael, depicting famous classical Greek philosophers

I recently received a correspondence from a reader who has rejected her former religious beliefs in favor of a more scientifically based worldview. This process was evidently long and painful and she has now embarked on her own quest for truth. But where might such a trek lead? Here are some brief thoughts about her forthcoming journey. Continue reading Searching for Truth

Truth and Power? Commentary on “Why Fiction Trumps Truth,” by Yuval Noah Harari

Yuval Noah Harari cropped.jpg

I recently read Yuval Harari’s extraordinarily astute piece, Why Fiction Trumps Truth, in the New York Times. Harari is an Israeli historian, philosopher and author of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Here is his opening paragraph: Continue reading Truth and Power? Commentary on “Why Fiction Trumps Truth,” by Yuval Noah Harari