Category: Philosophy

Will Large, Maurice Blanchot

‘Why write?’, or Blanchot’s double paradox of writing, through Hegel’s paradox of action

Hegel’s paradox of action The paradox of action for Hegel is that I can only discover who I am by acting, but acting already presupposes that I know who I am: ‘an individual cannot know what he really is until he has made himself a reality through action’. [The Spiritual Animal Kingdom, in Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit]. This means that he already has to determine the end of his action [that is, the end in...

Why did the chicken cross the road?

Philosophy jokes – part 3 (Why did the chicken cross the road?)

Adams, Douglas: Forty-two. Aristotle: To actualize its potential. Blake, William: To see heaven in a wild fowl. Buddha: If you ask this question, you deny your own chicken-nature. Chaucer, Geoffrey: So priketh hem nature in hir corages. Constable: To get a better view. Cosell, Howard: It may very well have been one of the most astonishing events to grace the annals of history.  An historic, unprecedented avian biped with the temerity to attempt such an herculean achievement formerly relegated to homo...

Woman thinking, puzzled, therefore p

Philosophy jokes – part 2 (therefore p)

Anselm: I can entertain an idea of the most perfect state of affairs inconsistent with not-p. If this state of affairs does not obtain then it is less than perfect, for an obtaining state of affairs is better than a non-obtaining one; so the state of affairs inconsistent with not-p obtains; therefore it is proved, etc. Brandom: Sellars has established to McDowell’s and my satisfaction that p. Therefore p. Brandom (alternative): Sellars argues that p....

Hannah Arendt by Shy Abady

Some thoughts on art – part 2 (Arendt)

In an interesting article on freedom, where Arendt posits a different view of freedom that our contemporary liberal ideology can learn a lot from [sidenote: make a post on Arendt’s notion of freedom], Arendt has an interesting passage on art and the role of the artist. In a previous post on art and Zizek, the general line of thought was that for Zizek art seems to have debased the world. As I had concluded there:...

Philosophy jokes – part 1 (random)

Philosophy jokes – part 1 (random)

Some philosophy jokes I have gathered online. Enjoy! See also philosophy jokes part 2 (therefore p) and part 3 (why did the chicken cross the road?) Dean to the physics department: “Why do I always have to give you guys so much money, for laboratories and expensive equipment, continuous research, etc. Why couldn’t you be like the math department – all they need is money for pencils, paper and waste-paper baskets. Or even better, like the...

Sextus Empiricus, Agrippa's trilemma

Agrippa’s paradox (Sextus Empiricus’ modi), and Nietzsche’s insight

There is almost nothing we know about the person attributed with today’s paradox. In fact, Wikipedia even denies him this attribution (or rather, it denies to call the paradox after him). One of the reasons is perhaps that we actually know very little about Agrippa, except from the writing of Sextus Empiricus [sidenote: now that’s an interesting name]. In fact, we don’t even know his (or her?) name for sure. Another could be that many have come up...

Rene Descartes

Descartes’ dream paradox

Descartes, viewed in history of philosophy as the founder of modern philosophy, starts his Meditations with a paradox that has beguiled philosophers since. In very simplistic terms, Descartes points towards the doubts we should have from occurrences we have perceived through our sense. Because our senses can deceive us, we should try to find something else that may substitute for our understanding (knowledge): All that I have, up to this moment, accepted as possessed of...

Potzdammer Platz Cranes

Some thoughts on art – part 1 (Zizek)

In one of his books, The Fragile Absolute (Amazon), Zizek looks at transformation of art in modernity in his usual peculiar way. He posits, quite convincingly – at least to a non-artist like myself – that unlike Adorno’s critical view of (modern) art as commodification, there is a concurrent process from the artist that enables the changes in art: Its basic feature is not only the much-deplored commodification of culture (art objects produced for the market),...

Freedom response

The paradox of freedom – a response

The paradox of freedom article has generated an interesting debate on the possibility of a solution. Where it was initially claimed that the paradox of freedom does not have a solution, the contention now is that there is more to the paradox than said initially. As Joe Weinstein promptly observes, the connection between freedom and chaos is arbitrarily made and follows my presuppositions of a Hobbesian (and to an extent Arendtian) view – however, this presupposition...

Freedom

The paradox of freedom (Karl Popper)

Having written on the paradox of choice (part 1 and part 2), it has come to my attention that there is a confusion between that paradox and paradox of freedom. For some reason, the current view of the paradox is that one is free, but is unable to be free: a form of an innate inability to act freely, while having all the opportunities to do so; or psychological habit to act according to some...