Meaning, not happiness…

Meaning, not happiness…

Meaning, not happiness…

By all accounts Albert Camus was a very happy man, he lived the high life, enjoyed outrageous parties, having a taste for fun and shared the company of many girlfriends.  He was evidently a very sophisticated man, that enjoyed all of the pleasures that life would afford him. Albert Camus spent his life searching for meaning, and being unable to find any, never gave up. The act of seeking is a virtuous act, whilst action with virtue is a good thing because it leads to the development of a better character, a fact that was not wasted upon Aristotle (a

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The Immanent Lie

The Immanent Lie

  Another short essay by Transylvania’s very own Emil Cioran. Since the last essay I reviewed, I have read many others thereafter. Most, I feel, are so abstracted that you don’t know where the man is getting at and because of that he’s an author open to many interpretations. Many of Cioran’s ‘essays’ are shorter than my shortest article published on this website! Right from the start we are faced with this emotive sucker punch: “To live signifies to believe and to hope – to lie and to lie to oneself” Bear in mind he does not define what this

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Hieraclitus, an argument for Dualism

Hieraclitus, an argument for Dualism

Heraclitus was a Greek philosopher who lived between 535 BC and 465 BC, most famous for his ethical fragments and his doctrine that change was not only central to the experience of living but that the entire universe was constantly in change. “Nothing endures but change,” Heraclitus He’s oft-quoted as having said that: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man. Heraclitus Which brings me onto an interesting aspect of mind that we all share. Put simply we can sit by the riverbank and watch the water

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Philosophical Virtues – Humility

Philosophical Virtues – Humility

Socrates was by nature a very humble man, he was always the first to admit that he didn’t know anything and spent his entire adult life trying his best to prove that he was not wise. Some years before the Oracle at Delphi had told his friend Chaerephon that none were wiser than Socrates. It seems that this revelation disturbed Socrates who convinced that he was not wise, made it life’s work to prove the oracle wrong. Socrates didn’t feel like a wise man and as a result made it his habit to meet and converse with the acknowledged experts

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Where is the meaning of life? Part 1

Where is the meaning of life? Part 1

    Introduction Anyone who has taken the time to think beyond the bubble of their daily lives and entertained the notion of the meaning of life, has, to their congratulations, graduated Key Stage level 1 in philosophy. It’s that staple question of philosophy isn’t it? The meaning of life. This question is always phrased as ‘what is the meaning of life?’ However, this article will be unorthodox, instead, the question should be ‘where is the meaning of life?’. This latter formulation of the same question is the empirical approach; only requiring sensory validation. Pointing at things, we’ve done this

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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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