Hierocles and The Cosmopolitan Ideal in the Ancient World.

Hierocles and The Cosmopolitan Ideal in the Ancient World.

Hierocles and The Cosmopolitan Ideal in the Ancient World.

The origins of cosmopolitanism can be traced all of the way back to the 4th Century BC, to the then much loved (as indeed he still is today) Diogenes of Sinope, who having been forced into exile from his home city of Sinope moved to Athens to live the simple lifestyle of an ascetic, sleeping in a cracked pot in the marketplace and begging for food. The exploits of Diogenes are manifold and legendarily famous, he turned philosophy into a performance-art, demonstrating his values through deeds not just words, becoming a hugely popular and much-loved figure in and around Athens.

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A Pattern in the Cosmos.

A Pattern in the Cosmos.

I often like to look at the night sky, to see the heavens ablaze with the light of distant suns. It provokes a feeling of awe and makes me think of the bigger questions in life, drawing me into the mystery of existence as I stare out into eternity. The universe and I and you are all undoubtedly one thing. How that thing got started is an enigma, it’s the primordial mystery. If we zoom out to the very largest of cosmic scales we can see that the universe has a structure and is made up of increasingly smaller things

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Naturalist Credo on What is The Ultimate Law?

Naturalist Credo on What is The Ultimate Law?

      Laws… they are present in all manner of civilisations be they theological or secular. We have the holy man’s act of preaching during a religious ceremony that God’s laws are the highest laws, the secular moral philosopher putting ink to paper arguing for his ideas on jurisprudence and the act of government passing legislation for all the citizens of the society to follow. All these are examples of the manifestations of laws. However, you can stand up in the middle of a mass in church and call for God to strike you dead because of your atheism

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La Mettrie’s Last Stand

La Mettrie’s Last Stand

  After the controversial fallout of Anti-Seneca, our philosopher physician gives his final caper in his writing of the Preliminary Discourse which was included in his Philosophical Works published in 1750. Since this was the last of his works, for he died a year later, it can be considered to be his most mature espousal of his materialist philosophy and defence of it. Ann Thomson the editor of Machine Man and Other Writings published by Cambridge University Press summarises this work: “His main aim in the Preliminary Discourse is thus both to reaffirm his materialism and to show that his

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Socrates the Athenian whom I admire…

Socrates the Athenian whom I admire…

I’ve recently finished reading and re-reading the Apology of Socrates, which is a highly recommended read and full of sage advice and insights into how one should live a good life and in particular how one should face our impending doom. The dignity of the man’s defence of his life and the equanimity with which he faced his doom is a powerful lesson to us all. Plato’s description of Socrates clearly revealed him to be the wisest man in Athens whose greatness has never been realised since. Socrates refused to be consumed by fear, brushed aside the superstitious beliefs of

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The Existence And Essence Of The Galloping Horses – A Praxis Approach

The Existence And Essence Of The Galloping Horses – A Praxis Approach

I really think this is true, namely, If you can apply the tools of philosophy to make sense of the everyday waking world we all inhabit then it becomes a useful practical utility under your belt because you’re involved in interacting with the world in a philosophical way. Those abstract concepts that are able to be put into practise (praxis)  towards the world as opposed to just being purely abstract concepts entertained by the armchair philosopher enables philosophy to enrich your life. The notions of existence and essence are able to be put into practise, to give these notions substance I’ll have to lead by

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What is Existence & Essence?

What is Existence & Essence?

  Existence and essence, ah that philosophical duality opposed daggers drawn and yet despite the antagonism they need each other in order to be. Though, If I were to hazard a guess in separating these philosophical twins I will say this, if we negate existence and are then left with essence, then the outcome that we have is called fiction. Which is why stories and events that have not existed in reality are confined to the fiction section of a bookstore. but I digress. I go on to define existence and essence and discuss the differences between the two:   Existence refers to the state of something which is extant now,

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The Natural Aesthetic – Nature crafts its own art

The Natural Aesthetic – Nature crafts its own art

    Appreciating the woodland aesthetic   I thought up this article from my readings of mindfulness and Zen philosophy and the many occasions from walking through the woodlands in my local countryside while deep in conversation with Comicus as if we were the peripatetics of Aristotle; talking while on the move. We go about talking in this woodland passing tree after tree and the occasional brook but are we really registering the natural beauty of it all? Are we living in the moment? Here is one picture of some woodland: When the mind is entirely focused on talking there is

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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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