4 min read · May 16th · The celebrated thinker once wrote that love was the most antipolitical of forces—but she also believed it had the power to change the world
Amor mundi is no abstract, diffuse love: rather it is the difficult duty of loving one’s neighbour, and loving the world, as they are presented.
The self reveals itself in action and through doing rather than being. It is through our engagement with the world—including and perhaps most importantly through acts of love—that we “become” ourselves. And, as a process, the self is ever-changing and ever-changeable.
20+ min read · Apr 27th · The long read: A growing chorus of scientists and philosophers argue that free will does not exist. Could they be right?
According to the public intellectual Yuval Noah Harari, free will is an anachronistic myth – useful in the past, perhaps, as a way of motivating people to fight against tyrants or oppressive ideologies, but rendered obsolete by the power of modern data science to know us better than we know ourselves, and thus to predict and manipulate our choices.
Smilansky is an advocate of what he calls “illusionism”, the idea that although free will as conventionally defined is unreal, it’s crucial people go on believing otherwise – from which it follows that an article like this one might be actively dangerous.
5 min read · Apr 15th · The joys of money are nothing without other people.
At low levels, money improves well-being. Once you earn a solid living, however, a billionaire is not likely to be any happier than you are.
Just because most people generally don’t get happier as they get richer beyond a certain point doesn’t mean that they can’t. In fact, no matter where we sit on the income scale, with a little knowledge and practice any of us can use money to bring more happiness.
6 min read · 2020-05-01 · by Holly Case About 1,500 years ago, the Chinese literary critic Liu Hsieh wrote The Literary Mind. It includes a section on metaphor—hsing—which he describes as “response to a stimulus.” [W]hen we…
20+ min read · 2020-04-28 · by Eric J. Weiner Dedication As an “intellectual in emigration,” Theodor Adorno wrote Mimima Moralia, his book of philosophical, sociological, cultural, and psychological reflections “from the…