The coming-of-age story at the heart of the award-winning film Moonlight gets a lot of its power from the way it upends the prevailing inner-city narrative. This rejection of expectation helps illustrate the relationship between storytelling and identity formation described by Kwame Anthony Appiah.
King Laius died at the Cleft Way, where he got in the way of an emigrant to Thebes who happened also to be his son. The prophecy was that Oedipus would be the death of Laius, and it was in the name of avoiding this fate that father and son worked together to seal it. Continue Reading …
In The Birth of Tragedy, Friedrich Nietzsche argues that, through his protégé Euripides, Socrates had injected into Greek tragedy the seed of questioning doubt that brought an end to the religious animus of drama, the fire that fueled its creation and sustained it. Thus, cold reason killed tragedy. Although he would later modify this view, it remains a powerful and influential polemic in the history of aesthetics.
In 1996, Samuel Huntington presented a theory of “clashes” occurring between different civilizational blocks. Huntington traced the mindsets of different people to solid religious sources. However, what if the difference between civilizational blocks is that some have read Nietzsche and others haven’t?
Some have traced the origins of our “post-truth” era back to post-modernism and relativism. Could a look at Richard Rorty’s philosophy help us understand the “post-truth” phenomenon?
The popular Netflix show is rife with philosophical questions. “Can Aristotle teach Bojack a thing or two about self-love?” is one of them.
Although we spend most of our lives in a state of consciousness, as soon as we subject it to more careful scrutiny we realize that we know very little about it—how does it actually happen? And how does conscious experience fit into our scientific picture of the world?
Almost fifty years ago there was an influential woman who called pregnancy “barbaric,” described childhood as “hell,” and said giving birth was “like shitting a pumpkin.” Shulamith Firestone was a radical activist and remarkably prescient thinker who helped define feminism as we know it. Yet today she remains largely—and unfairly—unknown.
What good are philosophy books? Can they make us any the wiser? A look at a humorous essay by Robert Wilson Lynd that demonstrates the difficulty of acquiring wisdom from books alone.
“If you leave decisions to the public, you can be killed.” A 1974 performance art piece by Marina Abramović explores our deepest human instincts.
Nationalism has a bad reputation. Varieties of nationalist thought have been responsible for many of the horrors of the last century. Nonetheless, important philosophers and political theorists have made the cases that more reasoned forms of nationalism can provide credible theoretical justification for determining the boundaries between those within a political community and those outside of it.
What is infinite responsibility? And can we live with it?
Grab your hats: PEL will be doing a live recording at Brown University on October 27, 2016.
Researchers at MIT are pooling our moral intuitions, and we need to talk about it.
Is transhumanism just dangerous over-confidence in technology?
When it comes to ethics and human choice, there is “a serious candidate for truth” that we haven’t considered properly.
How a single Greek word can explain why we don’t like the Sophists, why Socrates was accused of being one of them, and what makes rhetoric successful.
Were Sophists really the immoral truth-benders that Plato portrayed them to be? Classical scholars don’t seem to think so.
Given the existentialist emphasis on concrete personal experience, freedom, authenticity, responsibility, awareness of death, and personal determination of values, it is not surprising that existentialist philosophers should also consider the question of romantic love.