La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

La Mettrie’s Anti-Seneca

    Intro The philosopher physician returns and this time he brings his own ethics on happiness. However, his ethics sharply contrasts with that of the stoics putting forward hedonism over virtue (but not over the pleasure derived from collecting new knowledge it must be said). First published in 1748, while shacking up at Fredrick’s court, Anti-Seneca had gone through many revisions, rewritten many times by La Mettrie for the purpose of perfecting his morality drawn from his own interpretation of materialism. As is typical with our darling philosopher physician, contention, controversy and condemnation trails not far behind him with

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Nietzsche and the abyss – The unity of nothingness.

Nietzsche and the abyss – The unity of nothingness.

“Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.” Friedrich Nietzsche Nietzsche was a brilliant philosopher whose intellectual life was crippled by serious amounts of pain and discomfort and a slow descent into madness, the primary cause was a progressive and untreatable brain condition that resulted in his almost complete immobility in later years due to stroke. Nietzsche died two deaths, his mind died in 1899 at the still tender age of 44 after suffering a

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Marcus Aurelius on injury, anger and betrayal

Marcus Aurelius on injury, anger and betrayal

One of the great things about Stoicism, is that it helpfully puts its practitioners at ease with the world around them, a world that can often be cruel, unkind, unjust and just about awful in so many ways that the non-philosophical amongst us can be easily driven to give up on life and end it all. Suicide comes in many forms, whether it’s jumping off a bridge into the cold depths of the river below, overdosing on alcohol and pills in the hope of quietly slipping away from this life or worse yet the long drawn out mental decay of

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Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

I’ve recently been struck by the fact that the noble Emperor Marcus Aurelius began his meditations by giving thanks. The first book ‘The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, Debts and Lessons,’ begins with him listing in words every good person that he’d met who’d had some positive influence on him. Everyone from old friends, advisors, people of note and teachers are included. He includes both the exalted and the humble in this first meditation. Whilst initially you might think, ‘what’s the point of this?’ desperately trying to plough through it to the ‘interesting stuff,’ (like I did) about life, the universe

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On Birth, Death, History and the Restoration to Non-Existence

On Birth, Death, History and the Restoration to Non-Existence

 Just like fire we have our kindling and our extinguishing       If you’re looking for hard-hitting contemplations tugging on your sense of impending mortality then you’re in the right place! No sugar-coating by the fairies here! We dive head first into this! Living is that intermediate process between birth and death. Life is a process not a substance like water or gold. With any process there is an eventual terminal point and in the case of life that is death. Before you were born, you had no name, no gender, no body, no relationships etc. In short your history was as

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Philosophy Vs Religion

Philosophy Vs Religion

I sometimes get asked what the difference is between philosophy and religion.  I can understand why people would ask this, after all many religions are quite philosophical in nature in that they espouse a set of values that are largely coherent. I’m thinking of you Siddhartha The most obvious example of this is of course Buddhism, which shares many elements in common with our favourite philosophical discipline, namely stoicism.  Other religions such as hinduism and Jainism contain lots of philosophical elements that are indeed worthy, having such gravitas that they’ve become a mainstream part of the LSD tripping, Hashish smoking

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Life Philosophy – What is it and why should we care?

Life Philosophy – What is it and why should we care?

Some of you may have noticed the category ‘life philosophy’ on this site. I feel that it deserves clarification and explaining as to what it about. Life philosophy is personal self-development through philosophical therapy that practitioners apply to themselves. Life philosophy is about changing the self’s behaviour and attitudes by changing the way the mind thinks, by encouraging beneficial thinking patterns and attitudes and at the same time, by removing or atrophying harmful thinking patterns, habits and attitudes. Similar to Cognitive Behavioural Therapy no? Well, mastering mind and behaviour has been practised since ancient times By doing this you are investing in your long

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What is the meaning of Life?

What is the meaning of Life?

Philosophers, scientists and thinkers have for thousands of years pondered the big questions of existence, the biggest one of all being ‘what is the point of life?’ More correctly, it’s often expressed as ‘does life have any purpose?’  ‘Is there any meaning to life?,’ and more commonly ‘why are we here?’ All of these commonly asked questions point at the same thing and that is the human need for validation of their existence. Absurdism We’d all naturally like to think that we have a reason for being, even if it isn’t revealed to us and we have to work it

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Remembering La Mettrie the philosopher physician

Remembering La Mettrie the philosopher physician

  Everyone who studies or has an interest in philosophy has heard of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Voltaire, Nietzsche, Hegel, Marx and modern philosophers too like Daniel Dennet. I like to guess and think of these people as the popular philosophers because they are the household names that most often show up everywhere on the interwebs when philosophy is discussed. Browse different philosophical websites and forums and you will see that there are countless articles and quotations from this popular pantheon of philosophers. However, there’re other philosophers out there that have not been popularised and therefore their ideas and themselves even,

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The Technique of Naturalistic Mindfulness

The Technique of Naturalistic Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a technique used to for many reasons such as to improve mental health and wellbeing and to help one think more clearly. One definition of mindfulness from the internet by someone called Jon Kabat-Zinn, which I think succinctly sums it up is: “mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; on purpose, in the present moment, and non judgmentally.” Naturalistic mindfulness has similar principles but is a different technique as the purpose is different being used for the improvement of understanding in natural knowledge, so it’s different from conventional mindfulness in the sense that you are applying the best

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