The Wisdom of Old Men

“…that is the great fallacy: the wisdom of old men. They do not grow wise. They grow careful.” – Ernest Hemingway I agree with Papa and speak from experience. One great battle of old age is to resist becoming too careful–without getting hurt. And what about the wisdom of old age? That storehouse of experienceContinue reading “The Wisdom of Old Men”

Philosophy’s Impasse and the Animal Within

Is there a coherent perspective today from which to argue that philosophy is not merely an academic discipline but a way of life? To answer that question, we must understand the differences between the contemporary philosophical context and the ancient philosophers who believed that only philosophy could provide the insight and motivations for the bestContinue reading “Philosophy’s Impasse and the Animal Within”

The Real Family Value

Everyone praises “the family” as a source of deep meaning. Much of this praise is platitudinous, if not blatant hypocrisy, but there is a foundation for these sentiments, despite their expedience as pretense, sanctimony, and worse. Although the family is the most fundamental social unit that responds to a variety of biological imperatives, its importanceContinue reading “The Real Family Value”

Risk, Rigor, and Philosophical limits

Philosophy pushes at two limits. It refuses to take common sense at face value and advances risky, experimental, or extreme hypotheses to show how appearances can be deceiving. But then it adopts rigorous standards of evidence and logic in its commitment to truth. Much of the history of philosophy is a series of jaw-dropping, preposterousContinue reading “Risk, Rigor, and Philosophical limits”

On Persistence and Failure

Why do we listen to celebrities? They have little to say about ordinary lives. Here is a quote from the great basketball player, Michael Jordan: “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over andContinue reading “On Persistence and Failure”

An Urgent Question

I fear philosophy has lost its way. Philosophy’s foundational question exemplified in the life and words of Socrates—how should one live?—is no longer asked with the urgency and stakes it had for the ancient philosophers who originally posed it. For those ancient philosophers, philosophy was a way of life and philosophical ideas were to beContinue reading “An Urgent Question”