Tag «philosophy»

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Wabi-sabi

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Wabi-sabi

When it comes to what things look like, the Western world is obsessed by perfection, by symmetry, and ideal proportion. This is a taste for beauty shaped by reverence for universal laws, mathematics, and an appetite for the perfect and the eternal. Japanese aesthetics are, however, very different indeed, and the core of the difference …

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Love

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Love

The strange thing about love is that even though we experienced it in a deeply personal and apparently instinctive way, it has a history. In other words people around the world haven’t always fallen in love the way they do now. The point of rehearsing a few of the telling moments in love’s history is …

HISTORY: CONSUMERISM

HISTORY: CONSUMERISM

For most of history, the overwhelming majority of the Earth’s inhabitants have owned, more or less, nothing. The clothes they stood up in, some bowls, a pot and a pan, perhaps a broom and, if things were going really well, a few farming implements. Nations and peoples remained consistently poor. Global GDP did not grow …

PHILOSOPHY – Albert Camus

PHILOSOPHY – Albert Camus

Albert Camus was an extremely handsome, mid 20th century French Algerian philosopher and writer whose claim to our attention is based on three novels: The Outsider, The Plage, The Fall and two philosophical essays: The Myth of Sisyphus and The Rebel. Camus won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1957 and died at the age …

Why Some Countries Are Poor and Others Rich

Why Some Countries Are Poor and Others Rich

There are 196 countries in the world. 25 of them are very rich, defined as having an average wealth per person of over $100,000 a year. They are: But far more countries are quite poor, and some – which we’re considering here – are very very poor. These are the 20 poorest countries in the …

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Art

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Art

Art has a very high status in modern societies: People flock to museums and art works fetch record prices. But our age is also oddly reluctant to say in clear terms what art might actually be for. An odd mystique surrounds it, epitomized by the puzzlement many of us feel as we look at yet …

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Failure

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Failure

Humans have always seriously messed up their lives, but the way in which failure has been viewed has a long and fascinating history that it may help us to know about. Athens, 429 BC It’s the premiere of a tragedy called “Oedipus the King”, written by the great playwright, Sophocles. It’s the story of an …

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Manners

HISTORY OF IDEAS – Manners

It seems natural to most of us that we shouldn’t burp loudly in front of strangers, touch their behinds without permission or spit in the face of those who annoy us but history shows us a different story. What we might take to be normal impulses to be modest, restrained and dignified are the hard-won …