Confucius Has a Message for Those Who Want to Succeed: REFLECT

Confucius deemed reflection the best way to wisdom / Creative Commons By Dr. Khatera Sahibzada / 02.09.2018 Adjunct Lecturer of Leadership Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences University of Southern California One of the most admirable and arguably underrated qualities of leadership is the capacity for reflection. Confucius called it the most noble way to learn[…]

A History of Federalism in the United States

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Federalism in the Constitution 1.1 – Introduction Federalism is the system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units. It is based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between[…]

States of Consciousness

Photo Credit EMSL, Creative Commons Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.22.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Introduction to Consciousness 1.1 – Introduction 1.1.1 – Philosophy of Consciousness Despite the difficulty in coming to a definition, many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is. Philosophers since the time[…]

The History of Blackness in Art and Philosophical Thought

Robert Fludd’s black square representing the nothingness that was prior to the universe, from his Utriusque Cosmi(1617) — Wellcome Library Should we consider black a colour, the absence of colour, or a suspension of vision produced by a deprivation of light? Beginning with Robert Fludd’s attempt to picture nothingness, Eugene Thacker reflects* on some of the ways[…]

What was the Beguiling Spell of Jung’s ‘Collective Unconscious’?

Detail from the Mandala of Jnanadakini, 14th century, Tibet. / Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York By Dr. Antonio Melechi / 02.19.2018 Honorary Research Fellow, Department of Sociology University of York The first decades of the 20th century saw a raft of psychological terms fall into popular usage. Freudian notions of ‘denial’ and ‘displacement’, ‘projection’[…]

An Introduction to Political Science and American Government

Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 02.14.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief 1 – Forms of Government Forms of government are categorized by the power source and power structure of any given state. 1.1 – Government and Its Forms Countries of the World, by Type of Government in 2011: This map shows all the countries of the word,[…]

The Dreams of an Inventor in 1420

Johannes de Fontana, Bellicorum instrumentorum liber (1420), BSB Cod.icon. 242, f. 59v Bennett Gilbert peruses the sketchbook of 15th-century engineer Johannes de Fontana, a catalogue of designs for a variety of fantastic and often impossible inventions, including fire-breathing automatons, pulley-powered angels, and the earliest surviving drawing of a magic lantern device. By Bennett Gilbert Instructor in Philosophy[…]

The Concept of ‘Oriental Despotism’ from Aristotle to Marx

Terracotta Army detail, Xi’an, China / Photo by Peter Morgan, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Rolando Minuti / 05.03.2012 Fernand Braudel Fellow, Professor of History European University Institute Abstract The concept of Oriental Despotism has shaped the European interpretation and representation of Asiatic governments and societies for many centuries. Its origins can be found in Aristotelian[…]

You Thought Quantum Mechanics was Weird: Check Out Entangled Time

Photo by Alan Levine, Flickr, Creative Commons By Dr. Elise Crull / 02.02.2018 Assistant Professor in History and Philosophy of Science City College of New York In the summer of 1935, the physicists Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger engaged in a rich, multifaceted and sometimes fretful correspondence about the implications of the new theory of[…]

Songs in the Key of Human

A new Harvard study suggests that people around the globe can identify lullabies, dancing songs, and healing songs — regardless of the songs’ cultural origin — after hearing just a 14-second clip. / Image by Adobe Some musical meaning may transcend cultural boundaries and be universally human. By Peter Reuell / 01.26.2018 Poet and Harvard[…]

Why So Many Americans Think Buddhism is Just a Philosophy

Sakya Monastery of Tibetan Buddhism, Seattle, Washington. Wonderlane, CC BY By Dr. Pamela Winfield / 01.22.2018 Associate Professor of Religious Studies Elon University In East Asia, Buddhists celebrate the Buddha’s death and entrance into final enlightenment in February. But at my local Zen temple in North Carolina, the Buddha’s enlightenment is commemorated during the holiday season of[…]

Whatever You Think, You Don’t Necessarily Know Your Own Mind

David Blackwell/Flickr/Creative Commons By Dr. Keith Frankish / 05.27.2016 Visiting Research Fellow Open University Do you think racial stereotypes are false? Are you sure? I’m not asking if you’re sure whether or not the stereotypes are false, but if you’re sure whether or not you think that they are. That might seem like a strange question. We all know[…]

Is Philosophy Therapy, or Is It Simply a Search for Truth?

Robert Huffstutter/Flickr/Creative Commons    By Dr. Nigel Warburton (left) and Dr. Jules Evans (right) / 01.18.2016 Warburton: Philosopher, Writer, Podcaster Evans: Policy Director of the Centre for the History of Emotions, Queen Mary, University of London Nigel Warburton: There’s been a lot of interest in reviving Stoic philosophy recently, particularly the therapeutic aspects of it. I’m skeptical[…]

Is Great Philosophy, by Its Nature, Difficult and Obscure?

Statue of Hume by Alexander Stoddart on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh / Photo by Bandan, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Keith Frankish / 11.11.2015 Visiting Research Fellow Open University Great philosophy is not always easy. Some philosophers – Kant, Hegel, Heidegger – write in a way that seems almost perversely obscure. Others – Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein – adopt an aphoristic[…]

Socrates in Plato’s ‘Apology of Socrates’ and ‘Phaedo’

The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David (1787) / Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York By Dr. Gregory Nagy Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature Professor of Comparative Literature Director, Center for Hellenic Studies Harvard University Socrates in Plato’s ‘Apology of Socrates’ [[“It is, in short, music which observes neither end nor beginning, music with neither real climax nor[…]

Whence Comes Nihilism, the Uncanniest of All Guests?

Metis as subak. The traditional Balinese irrigation system for rice farmers. / Wikimedia Commons By Lou Keep / 01.02.2018 Friedrich Nietzsche was most famously concerned with the problem of nihilism. All societies, in his view, rely on implicit value judgments. If the foundations of these are lost, he predicts terrible consequences: widespread apathy or violent, fanatical attempts[…]

“Aristotle’s” Bestselling Sex Manual

By Elizabeth Richins / 09.12.2016 Freelance Information Professional Freud Museum London Sex, childbirth and reproductive health were topics of considerable interest to people in early modern England. The Wellcome Library has a substantial collection of different editions of a hugely popular printed work addressing these issues in 17th- and 18th-century England, ‘Aristotle’s Masterpiece’. To people[…]

Kant and the Categorical Imperative

By Dr. James Fieser / 10.01.2017 Professor of Philosophy University of Tennessee at Martin INTRODUCTION Photo by CollegeDegrees360, Creative Commons Pam and Sheila were students at a large state university that had math and foreign language requirements. Pam was strong in languages, but lousy in math; Sheila had the opposite abilities. The two struck a deal: Pam would[…]

Let’s Talk Free Will

“Two roads diverged in a wood” – Frost / Creative Commons By Dr. James Fieser / 04.01.2011 Professor of Philosophy University of Tennessee at Martin A marketing company called Acxiom has collected detailed personal information on over 500 million consumers. Aside from the usual data such as your name, address and phone number, Acxiom knows your income,[…]

Justice and Liberty Have No Better Spokesman than Cicero

By Dr. Gary M. Galles / 09.30.2017 Professor of Economics Pepperdine University ohn Adams said of Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BCE) that “All ages of the world have not produced a greater statesman and philosopher combined.” Anthony Everitt called him an “architect of constitutions that still govern our lives.” Thomas Jefferson said the Declaration of Independence was[…]

Would Life Be Worth Living if Work Dominated Your Every Moment?

Workers Leaving the Factory Lithograph, 1903 by Théophile Alexandre Steinlen. Image courtesy By Andrew Taggart / 12.20.2017 Trainer Banff Creative Arts Center Imagine that work had taken over the world. It would be the centre around which the rest of life turned. Then all else would come to be subservient to work. Then slowly, almost imperceptibly,[…]

An Introduction to the Origins and History of Philosophy

Busts of Sokrates, Antisthenes, Chrysippos, Epikouros / Photo by Matt Neale, Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Philip A. Pecorino / 08.22.2015 Professor Philosophy Queensborough Community College, City University of New York Philosophy and Wonder Aristotle thought that Philosophy begins in wonder.  Wonder is some thing children do quite well.  It comes natural to them.  Unfortunately as a lot of us grow older we[…]

H.G. Wells vs. George Orwell: Is Science Humanity’s Best Hope?

‘Man Combating Ignorance’ – what’s science’s role? Century of Progress Records, 1927-1952, University of Illinois at Chicago Library, CC BY-NC-ND By Dr. Richard Gunderman, MD, PhD / 12.21.2017 Chancellor’s Professor of Medicine, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy Indiana University In the midst of contemporary science’s stunning discoveries and innovations – for example, 2017 alone brought the editing of[…]

Virtues in Philosophy

By Dr. James Fieser / 04.01.2011 Professor of Philosophy University of Tennessee at Martin INTRODUCTION A driver’s education instructor became enraged when his car was cut off by another vehicle. He was teaching a female student driver at the time, and he told her to chase down the vehicle. They caught up to it, the instructor got[…]