Tag: Philosophy

How Can I Justify Bringing New Life Into This Terrible World?

But Kant was writing in 1781, when atheism was dangerous enough to cost you your lecturing job. We now live in secular times (even if not everyone feels in step with them). And so I wanted a secular solution to the problem, leaving aside the matter of personal religious belief. Ultimately, I found it in […]

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Medical School Needs a Dose of the Humanities

This approach has long roots. Some of our civilization’s best chroniclers of the human condition have been doctor-narrators who decided to start telling stories themselves: Anton Chekhov, William Carlos Williams, Walker Percy, Oliver Sacks — and today, gifted writers like Atul Gawande, Daniela Lamas (a Times Opinion contributor), Siddhartha Mukherjee and Vincent Lam. It has […]

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Sweep Up the Savings With the Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C, Just $180

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily. Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C | $180 | Amazon There’s a good chance that your house’s floors have seen a bit more gunk after a year of quarantine. It’s an unfortunate side effect of spending more time […]

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Opportunities Out of the Tragedies of the Pandemic

“When people focus on what is right within what seems wrong in their life (for example, the car has a flat tire but isn’t totaled), that can lead to seeing things that present themselves as opportunities,” he said. This is not the same thing as positive thinking. Instead, said Rick Hanson, a clinical psychologist and […]

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The Muslims Who Inspired Spinoza, Locke and Defoe

What is less known is that Ibn Rushd also sought to harmonize his philosophical insights with Islamic law — the Shariah. At the core of Ibn Rushd’s effort was the vision of Ibn Tufayl’s philosophical novel: Religion and reason were both independent sources of wisdom. Religion had its written laws, while reason had its unwritten […]

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A Code to Live By: What Is Yours?

We invite readers to step back from day-to-day events and consider: What is your guiding philosophy or the personal code you live by? How does it play out in your life? Feel free to mention if and how it has been affected by your experiences over the past year. Submissions should be no more than […]

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How to Reach People Who Are Wrong

The Trump years were a time of high passion, of moral certainty, of drawing lines in the sand, of despair at the ethical and intellectual vacuity of political foes. But now it’s time to recalibrate. From my liberal point of view, Democrats were largely vindicated. From the Muslim ban to the separation of families at […]

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Why Are Literature and Philosophy Such an Awkward Match?

Chiang’s story is set in a world that resembles ours with one notable difference: Angels come to visit. These heavenly visitations are less like the Pope touring your city in the Popemobile than natural disasters with a high risk of collateral damage: The Earth cracks upon their appearance; shards of glass fly from shattered windows; […]

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Love the One You’re With: 8 Black-Owned Services Nurturing Self-Love

Photo: fizkes (Shutterstock) Self-love and care aren’t just about slapping on a face mask and getting in the bath anymore (but don’t get it twisted, they absolutely fall under that umbrella). Given how incredibly rocky 2020 was and the not-so-steady start this year has been, it’s hard to even fathom actively carving out time for […]

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Yup, That Image of a Mitten-Clad, Socially-Distant, Errand-Running Bernie Sanders Is the Greatest Meme Ever

Photo: BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Getty Images) It’s been 12 years since I last felt how I felt while I begrudgingly watched some of the inauguration yesterday. Whatever relief experienced in ridding of the outgoing president (minimal) or pride in witnessing history (eh), was flattened by an anxiety that something terrible was going to happen. And so […]

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Want the Good Life? This Philosopher Suggests Learning From Cats

An uncertain fate awaits the most bracing and contrarian writers: Will the insights they offer still come across as stingingly original if the disillusion they so often recommend becomes commonplace? I was thinking about this while reading John Gray’s peculiar new book, “Feline Philosophy,” the latest in a provocative oeuvre that has spanned four decades […]

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Reopen the American Mind

This fall, as college students filter hesitantly into socially distanced classrooms or adjust their Zoom backgrounds for seminars they attend from their bedrooms, the usual debates about the aims of higher education have taken a back seat to more pressing concerns. Many colleges and universities are now fighting for survival. Even before the pandemic upended […]

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What Moral Philosophy Tells Us About Our Reactions to Trump’s Illness

The other day, my 7-year-old, having gotten wind of President Trump’s Covid-19 diagnosis, asked me point blank, “Mommy, are you glad that Trump got the coronavirus?” I am a moral philosopher, and yet I had a hard time coming up with an answer. The question demands we grapple not only with the moral meaning of […]

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Modern Science Didn’t Appear Until the 17th Century. What Took So Long?

The Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman once recalled a friend, an artist, who would say that he could properly appreciate the beauty of a flower, while a scientist like Feynman always insisted on taking the flower apart and making it dull. Of course, Feynman disagreed. “I can imagine the cells inside, which also have a […]

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The Men Who Reinvented Philosophy for Turbulent Times

TIME OF THE MAGICIANSWittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented PhilosophyBy Wolfram Eilenberger When I was 20 a professor of philosophical logic informed me that “philosophy teaches you how to think.” Of course, I thought that was ridiculous; taking her class was proof enough that I already knew how to think. But she […]

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Giorgio Agamben, the Philosopher Trying to Explain the Coronavirus

Stumping for regional candidates in Tuscany this month, Italy’s former interior minister Matteo Salvini waved around a surgical mask — and pointedly did not wear it. Covid-19 has taken more than 35,000 lives since it struck Italy in January. But now the daily death toll is typically in single digits, and Mr. Salvini, the leader […]

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How Wittgenstein and Other Thinkers Dealt With a Decade of Crisis

In the autumn of 1922, as Germany was convulsed by food shortages and soaring inflation, the philosopher Martin Heidegger wrote a letter to his wife about the intricate choreography required to secure the most basic needs. “Mother asks if they should send potatoes even before 1 Oct; I answered yes and sent the money at […]

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Why Edmund Burke Still Matters

Had it not been for the revolution in France, Edmund Burke would likely have been remembered, a bit vaguely, as an 18th-century philosopher-statesman of extravagant rhetorical gifts but frustratingly ambivalent views. The Irish-born member of the British Parliament was sympathetic to the grievances of the American colonies but not (like his onetime friend Thomas Paine) […]

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Trump Doesn’t Know What Democracy Is. John Lewis Embodied It.

In his final essay, published on Thursday in The New York Times, Representative John Lewis of Georgia offered welcome words of encouragement and wisdom for everyone protesting discrimination and injustice. He also made a crucial point about our political system, one that bears repeating as we face powerful threats to self-government and the rule of […]

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Don’t Fear Dying. Fear Violence.

This month’s conversation in our series exploring religion and death is with Pankaj Jain (@ProfPankajJain), an associate professor in the department of philosophy and religion at the University of North Texas. He is the author of “Dharma in America: A Short History of Hindu-Jain Diaspora,” “Dharma and Ecology of Hindu Communities: Sustenance and Sustainability” and […]

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