Creative commitment and perfectionism do not mix: There is nothing like a perfect childhood to produce the perfect monster.
In their “workshop of filthy creation”—in which their endeavors are monstrously incomplete—how do artists remain committed?
In a competition with already-famous poets, one of whom was her future husband, an 18-year-old Mary Shelley was asked to create a ghost story. Instead, she created a story of the perils of creative ambition, and the possibility that it might lead to a ghosting of the self.
What’s “mother!” all about? Here are a few attempts to answer that question in a single sentence.
“Your father was a computer engineer; your mother was a concert pianist, and when the spaceship lands, they make music together on the computer.”
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. Yet what truly made Oedipus Continue Reading …
A listener takes on our politics and Rorty episodes.
A letter from a listener.
Grab your hats: PEL will be doing a live recording at Brown University on October 27, 2016.
Wes Alwan will be at STOICON 2016, an annual meeting of people interested in exploring Stoicism as a philosophy of life. You should come too.
Socioeconomic policies, not symbolic gestures, are the proper means for combating racism and improving the lives of African Americans.
Two diametrically opposed factions in the Republican Id: Sleepy McSleepums (a.k.a. Ben Carson), who is like a shot of morphine straight into the cerebellum. And Donald Trump, who needs no alias because he is the most stimulating form of political snuff available without a prescription.
Michael Sandel is one of America’s best-known political philosophers, and helped establish his reputation with a widely respected and widely taught book, “Liberalism and the Limits of Justice.” That’s surprising, given that its central argument is based on some very obvious errors in reasoning.
Listen to the Aftershow for Episode 116 on Freud and dreams, with Danny Lobell and Wes Alwan.
What does the film Ex Machina have to do the deus ex machina as plot device?
Is K-12 public schooling that leads to the moral relativism of college students?
A piece by the Nobel Prize-winning economist (and aspiring philosopher) is a strangely awful attempt by an intellectual to communicate with the general public.
&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;br /&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt; Bernard Williams was the rare academic who was also a great writer. In his review of Williams’ Essays and Reviews: 1959-2002, Paul Sagar lets academia have it: We can now see that Williams was not lazy: he spent an immense amount of time reading and thinking, and knew much beyond his own academic arguments. What he chose to Continue Reading …
In my post on the identity politics of belly dancing, in which I argued that Randa Jarrar’s recent tirade against white belly dancers must imply the moral inferiority of white women, I bypassed – because I thought it particularly weak – the notion that white belly dancing unwittingly perpetuates racist stereotypes about Arabs, even if there is nothing inherently mocking Continue Reading …
Novelist Randa Jarrar has been mocked – and accused of racism – for telling the world that she “can’t stand” white belly dancers. As Eugene Volokh notes, if we were to universalize Jarrar’s objections to “cultural appropriation,” then we might object to East Asian cellists or Japanese productions of Shakespeare, rather than treating the arts as they ought to be Continue Reading …