Sep 28, 2015

Monday Morning Quote (Nagel)

"Solipsism, incidentally, results if one misinterprets sympathetic imagination as if it worked like perceptual imagination: it then seems impossible to imagine any experience that is not one's own"

Thomas Nagel

He's talking about how we are unable to experience another person's experience, but we still have the ability to sort-of relate to another person's experience through comparison, putting ourselves in their point of view.

So we become solipsists if we are unable to be sympathetic to another person's point-of-view. The philosophical solipsism purports that we are the only consciousness - so is Nagel just dismissing that as completely mistaken? Or is he just avoiding that idea?

Sep 21, 2015

Monday Morning Quote (Bode)

"War is being ordered to do something real stupid and not being able to complain afterwards 'cause you get killed"
 Vaughan Bode, cartoonist

Sep 14, 2015

Monday Morning Quote (Schopenhauer)

"Human life must be some kind of mistake. The truth of this will be sufficiently obvious if we only remember that man is a compound of needs and necessities hard to satisfy; and that even when they are satisfied, all he obtains is a state of painlessness, where nothing remains to him but abandonment to boredom. This is direct proof that existence has no real value in itself; for what is boredom but the feeling of the emptiness of life?
If life--the craving for which is the very essence of our being--were possessed of any positive intrinsic value, there would be no such thing as boredom at all: mere existence would satisfy us in itself, and we should want for nothing. But as it is, we take no delight in existence except when we are struggling for something; and then distance and difficulties to be overcome make our goal look as though it would satisfy us--an illusion which vanishes when we reach it; or else when we are occupied with some purely intellectual interest--when in reality we have stepped forth from life to look upon it from the outside, much after the manner of spectators at a play." 
 Arthur Schopenhauer
 This was a long quote but I hope you made it through the whole thing. Schopenhauer wants to know why some people can claim life is meaningful if we are only ever happy when we are going after a goal and never happy after we have achieved it. Emotion is always distanced from its object. Existence in itself is boring.

Monday Morning Quote (Theognis

Best of all things - to never be born
never to know the light of sharp sun.
But being born, then best
to pass quickly as one can through the gates of Hell,
and there lie under the massive shield of earth.

Theognis (trans. Willis Barnstone)

Sep 7, 2015

Monday Morning Quote (Chuang Tzu)

Words are not just wind. Words have something to say. But if what they have to say is not fixed, then do they really say something? Or do they say nothing? People suppose that words are different from the peeps of baby birds, but is there any difference, or isn't there?
-Chuang Tzu