Aside

Seduction

There are no real posts yet so you’ll have to make do with reading the About page. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.

In the meanwhile we could talk a little about philosophy. It is a subject that divides opinion very sharply. When I am introduced to people as a philosopher people invariably respond in one of two ways:

1) They have absolutely no interest whatsoever and move on to something else (or someone else!) as if a faux pas had been made.

2) They are very interested and say “I wish I’d studied that” (often in an over-excited manner) but usually with very little understanding of what philosophising actually entails.

Though of course that’s just the men, women invariably respond by wanting to have my babies. Or at least they should do – it is only a matter of time…

Of course when I said ‘it is a subject’ I meant as a subject of conversation, or perhaps for a class, but the first thing key to understanding philosophy is that it is not a subject. It is neither a topic nor a thing. Philosophy is a kind of discipline, an activity which approaches an issue from a very general level.

A few years ago I wrote an essay on ‘what philosophy meant to me’ for The Subject Centre For Religious and Philosophical Studies annual undergraduate competition. As I didn’t win, a posted it on Facebook instead, and eventually, when I created a blog for my university’s philosophy society, on there too. Since that time I have had much opportunity to reflect more on this, such that my original essay seems uncomprehensive. Much of this reflection is owed to a number of podcasts in the peerless Philosophy Bites series which can be found here, and further here. And if you want to read my original essay it can still be found here.

Philosophy Bites is recommended as the best introductory resource on philosophy and has the virtues of being both regularly updated with new content and available for free on the internet. These video series are also excellent: Bryan Magee in Conversation and The Sea of Faith. But if books are more your thing I have made a list here.

Salutations & Philosophications

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2 responses »

  1. Hi there,

    Really good site! My own area of interest is also philosophy as a soteriological enterprise. I understand eudaimonia as the growing peace and tranquility that the philosopher gains as s/he learns to gain insight into the questions that cause the non-philosopher to fret. Wisdom is the capacity to see things equably, which is to see things as opinions, rather than truths. A person low in wisdom will get cross when a person disagrees with them over their choice of coffee. A wise person understands individual taste and perspective.

    Soteriology is simpy an extension of this process. Salvation occurs when we learn that individual selfhood, time, space, and the subject/object divide are also just one-sided opinions about reality. The wise person therefore comes to understand that they themselves transcend the categories of being vs non-being. Soteriology is the equable, eudaimona seeking mind taken to its ultimate level. Philosophical enquiry therefore becomes a type of spiritual method when taken to extremes.

    Best wishes!

    • Thank you for your kind words, but especially for sharing your own thoughts Nick, they are helpful. I feel like there was a moment of synchronicity there, because I was just looking up this old post for something I’m writing for Stoic Week as you commented on it!

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