Theseus by Plato

A note on the text Theseus, as named for one of the protagonists of the dialogue, is a newly-discovered dialogue of Plato, in which Socrates encounters two new founders of “schools” in ancient Athens and converses with them on the nature of learning and education. Within it, Plato returns to themes of the nature of… Continue reading Theseus by Plato

Consider the Lily’s End

Consider the ends, we're told -- when the ends are as dim as our beginnings. We do not know about our birth; nor will we know much about our death. Contemplation of death is a gift life gives us. Fear of death -- that is a great danger that can only be overcome by contemplation...… Continue reading Consider the Lily’s End

Beliefs like Helium Balloons

In one of Plato's dialogues, Socrates makes a distinction between knowledge and true opinion. The distinction, he says, is that true opinion is accidental -- whereas knowledge is opinion tethered by reason. What's the difference, you ask? And why does it matter? And how many different shades of color are there in a night rainbow?… Continue reading Beliefs like Helium Balloons

The Inscrutable Loneliness of Belonging

Philosophical Fragments Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.) I was a teenager when I first experienced loneliness. I can't recall the precise moment -- but I have a hazy impression of it, like a meaningful place visited once, all blushes of color with no distinct… Continue reading The Inscrutable Loneliness of Belonging

Under Construction

Photo by Colin Czerwinski on Unsplash

He had not noticed the sign earlier that day -- the one that read "road closed, under construction". He wondered at that but didn’t wonder too much. A man drives up and down the same road for the majority of his life and he begins to not see it. Though, still, it seemed strange — it… Continue reading Under Construction

In Praise of Underachievers

An Aesthete's Ode I’ve talked with numerous students over the years. There are the students who set out to achieve and achieve; those that do not set out to achieve and succeed in not achieving; and those that set out to achieve but underachieve. It’s the latter class that I have a particular affinity for,… Continue reading In Praise of Underachievers

Religion: Me or Us?

Assessing William James' Definition of Religion Religion, therefore, as I now ask you arbitrarily to take it, shall mean for us the feelings, acts, and experiences of individual men in their solitude, so far as they apprehend themselves to stand in relation to whatever they may consider the divine.-William James, The Variety of Religious Experiences Is… Continue reading Religion: Me or Us?

We’re so Ugly

If only we'd all believe it. I was a teenager when the grunge movement hit its stride. And I miss it. Not so much the music, as such, but the attitude that stands against the modern self-righteousness and presents a clear view of human nature: Humans are terrible and that includes me. Take Nirvana, for instance,… Continue reading We’re so Ugly