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Nietzsche Contra Socrates

Nietzsche Contra Socrates | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
Friedrich Nietzsche was by all accounts an admirer of the Hellenic aesthetic tradition, and would often refer to the ancient myths and tragedies to frame his own philosophy.  In the philosopher’s f...
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riedrich Nietzsche was by all accounts an admirer of the Hellenic aesthetic tradition, and would often refer to the ancient myths and tragedies to frame his own philosophy.  In the philosopher’s first—and self-admittedly flawed—book, The Birth of Tragedy (1872), Nietzsche presents his views on the development of the ancient Greek dramas, characterizing its growth as an artistic desire to thwart the emergence of pessimism in human expression.[1]  He framed this artistic development in terms of the philosophical dichotomy of the Apollonian and Dionysian elements.  Much can be written (and has been written) about these two elements as literary concepts, but the simplified idea is that there exists a delicate balance between the human striving for orderliness (the Apollonian element) in light of our innate attraction to chaotic irrationalities (the Dionysian element), in which the two sides are contingent on one another to create an essential harmony of human expression.[2]  Nietzsche considered the ancient Athenian dramas of Aeschylus and Sophocles to be the epitome of this dynamic in aesthetic form; i.e. their works signal the birth of tragedy, in human art.[3]  To Nietzsche this development was the zenith of artistic creation, a perfect balance between opposing drives of the human instinct, whose blending satisfied the artist in man as a whole.  Since this time in antiquity, however, we have experienced a decline—a devolution—in the aesthetic development of man.  A loss that Nietzsche traces to one fundamental source: Socrates.

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Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens
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Why Foucault's work on power is more important than ever – Colin Koopman | Aeon Essays

Why Foucault's work on power is more important than ever – Colin Koopman | Aeon Essays | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
Original, painstaking, sometimes frustrating and often dazzling. Foucault’s work on power matters now more than ever
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Like start-ups, most intentional communities fail – why? – Alexa Clay | Aeon Essays

Like start-ups, most intentional communities fail – why? – Alexa Clay | Aeon Essays | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
Most utopian communities are, like most start-ups, short-lived. What makes the difference between failure and success?
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How ant societies point to radical possibilities for humans – Deborah M Gordon | Aeon Essays

How ant societies point to radical possibilities for humans – Deborah M Gordon | Aeon Essays | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
The ant colony has often served as a metaphor for human order and hierarchy. But real ant society is radical to its core
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Timothy Morton: Ecology without Nature | CCCB LAB

Timothy Morton: Ecology without Nature | CCCB LAB | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
We interview the philosopher Tim Morton, author of “Dark Ecology”, who proposes that we rethink the way we see ecology, anthropocentrism and art.
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Albert Camus’ Historic Lecture, “The Human Crisis,” Performed by Actor Viggo Mortensen

Albert Camus’ Historic Lecture, “The Human Crisis,” Performed by Actor Viggo Mortensen | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
One event in the festival featured actor Viggo Mortensen giving a reading of Camus' lecture,“La Crise de l’homme” (
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Once upon a time... how stories change hearts – and brains – Elizabeth Svoboda | Aeon Essays

Across time and culture, stories have been agents of personal transformation – in part because they change our brains
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How philosophy came to disdain the wisdom of oral cultures – Justin E H Smith | Aeon Ideas

A poet, somewhere in Siberia, or the Balkans, or West Africa, some time in the past 60,000 years, recites thousands of memorised lines in the course of an evening. The lines are packed with fixed epithets and clichés. The bard is not concerned with originality, but with intonation and delivery: he or she is perfectly attuned to the circumstances of the day, and to the mood and expectations of his or her listeners.

If this were happening 6,000-plus years ago, the poet’s words would in no way have been anchored in visible signs, in text. For the vast majority of the time that human beings have been on Earth, words have had no worldly reality other than the sound made when they are spoken.

As the theorist Walter J Ong pointed out in Orality and Literacy: Technologizing the Word (1982), it is difficult, perhaps even impossible, now to imagine how differently language would have been experienced in a culture of ‘primary orality’. There would be nowhere to ‘look up a word’, no authoritative source telling us the shape the word ‘actually’ takes. There would be no way to affirm the word’s existence at all except by speaking it – and this necessary condition of survival is important for understanding the relatively repetitive nature of epic poetry. Say it over and over again, or it will slip away. In the absence of fixed, textual anchors for words, there would be a sharp sense that language is charged with power, almost magic: the idea that words, when spoken, can bring about new states of affairs in the world. They do not so much describe, as invoke.

As a consequence of the development of writing, first in the ancient Near East and soon after in Greece, old habits of thought began to die out, and certain other, previously latent, mental faculties began to express themselves. Words were now anchored and, though spellings could change from one generation to another, or one region to another, there were now physical traces that endured, which could be transmitted, consulted and pointed to in settling questions about the use or authority of spoken language.

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There is no death, only a series of eternal ‘nows’ – Bob Berman & Robert Lanza | Aeon Opinions

Here we tell you what happens after you’re dead. Seriously. Okay, it’s not so serious, because you won’t actually die. 
To lay the groundwork, let's recap the scientific view of death: essentially, you drop dead and that’s the end of everything
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Sci-fi still influences how society thinks about genes – it's time we caught up

Sci-fi still influences how society thinks about genes – it's time we caught up | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
We used to think that our fate was in the stars. Now we know in large measure, our fate is in our genes.

When the Nobel laureate and co-discoverer of the DNA double helix James Watson made his famous statement in 1989, he was implying that access to a person’s genetic code allows you to predict the outcome of their life.

The troubling implications were not lost on people, of course. A few years later they were explored in the American film Gattaca, which depicted a civilisation from the near future that had embraced this kind of genetic determinism. It was a world in which most people are conceived in test tubes, and taken to term only if they passed genetic tests designed to prevent them from inheriting imperfections ranging from baldness to serious genetic diseases.

With these so-called “valids” – the dominant majority – the film was a warning about the dangers in our technological advancement. As it turns out, we were probably being optimistic about the potential of genetics. Yet too few people seem to have got that message, and this kind of mistaken thinking about the links between genes and traits is having unsettling consequences of its own.

Via Wildcat2030
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Closer To Truth: What Is Information?

Information is all the rage in science, changing how we think about fundamental questions. Information has many descriptions, some of them surprising. Why is Information…

Via Alessio Erioli
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Jeong Kwan, the Philosopher Chef

Jeong Kwan, the Philosopher Chef | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
The most exquisite food in the world, say many celebrated chefs, is being made not in Copenhagen or New York, but in a remote temple complex south of Seoul by a 59-year-old Buddhist nun.
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Materialism alone cannot explain the riddle of consciousness – Adam Frank | Aeon Essays

Materialism alone cannot explain the riddle of consciousness – Adam Frank | Aeon Essays | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
The closer you look, the more the materialist position in physics appears to rest on shaky metaphysical ground
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The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics

The Trouble with Quantum Mechanics | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
The development of quantum mechanics in the first decades of the twentieth century came as a shock to many physicists. Today, despite the great successes of quantum mechanics, arguments continue about its meaning, and its future.
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How the medium shapes the message | Cesar Hidalgo | TEDxYouth@BeaconStreet

How communication technologies shape our collective memory. César A. Hidalgo is an assistant professor at the MIT Media Lab. Hidalgo’s work focuses o
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How would the Stoics cope today? | Ryan Holiday

How would the Stoics cope today? | Ryan Holiday | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
Some of us are stressed. Others are overworked, struggling with the new responsibilities of parenthood, or moving from one flawed relationship to another. Whatever it is, whatever you are going through, there is wisdom from the Stoics that can help.

Followers of this ancient and inscrutable philosophy have found themselves at the centre of some of history’s most trying ordeals, from the French Revolution to the American Civil War to the prison camps of Vietnam. Bill Clinton reportedly reads Roman Emperor and stoic Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations once a year, and one can imagine him handing a copy to Hillary after her heart-wrenching loss in the US presidential election.

Stoicism is a school of philosophy which was founded in Athens in the early 3rd century and then progressed to Rome, where it became a pragmatic way of addressing life’s problems. The central message is, we don’t control what happens to us; we control how we respond.

The Stoics were really writing and thinking about one thing: how to live. The questions they asked were not arcane or academic but practical and real. “What do I do about my anger?” “What do I do if someone insults me?” “I’m afraid to die; why is that?” “How can I deal with the difficult situations I face?” “How can I deal with the success or power I hold?”

There also happens to be a decent amount of advice on how to live under the looming threat of a tyrant (“I may wish to be free from torture, but if the time comes for me to endure it, I’ll wish to bear it courageously with bravery and honour,” wrote the Roman philosopher Seneca). All of which makes Stoic philosophy particularly well-suited to the world we live in.

While it would be hard to find a word dealt a greater injustice at the hands of the English language than “stoicism”— with its mistaken connotations of austerity and lack of emotion — in fact, nothing could be more necessary for our times than a good dose of Stoic philosophy.

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Why are these 32 symbols found in ancient caves all over Europe?

Why are these 32 symbols found in ancient caves all over Europe? | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
Written language, the hallmark of human civilization, didn't just suddenly appear one day. Thousands of years before the first fully developed writing systems, our ancestors scrawled geometric signs across the walls of the caves they sheltered in. Paleoanthropologist, rock art researcher and TED Senior Fellow Genevieve von Petzinger has studied and codified these ancient markings in caves across Europe. The uniformity of her findings suggest that graphic communication, and the ability to preserve and transmit messages beyond a single moment in time, may be much older than we think.
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How the old and the new make the mind ebb and flow – Daniel J Siegel | Aeon Essays

The most vivid part of the mind bubbles up through sensation and new experience when unencumbered by analytical thought
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The 50 Most Influential Living Philosophers | The Best Schools

The 50 Most Influential Living Philosophers | The Best Schools | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
Here are the 50 most influential living philosophers, actively changing our understanding of ourselves and our world. Philosophy is far from dead!
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The mind isn’t locked in the brain but extends far beyond it – Keith Frankish | Aeon Ideas

Where is your mind? Where does your thinking occur? Where are your beliefs? René Descartes thought that the mind was an immaterial soul, housed in the pineal gland near the centre of the brain. Nowadays, by contrast, we tend to identify the mind with the brain. We know that mental processes depend on brain processes, and that different brain regions are responsible for different functions. However, we still agree with Descartes on one thing: we still think of the mind as (in a phrase coined by the philosopher of mind Andy Clark) brainbound, locked away in the head, communicating with the body and wider world but separate from them. And this might be quite wrong. I’m not suggesting that the mind is non-physical or doubting that the brain is central to it; but it could be that (as Clark and others argue) the mind extends beyond the brain.

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Over Time, Buddhism and Science Agree - Issue 36: Aging - Nautilus

Over Time, Buddhism and Science Agree - Issue 36: Aging - Nautilus | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
I remember my grandfather commenting—wry amusement tinged with grim resignation—that what made him finally feel old was seeing his children reach middle age. I was a child then. Now I see my own children, not quite middle aged, starting to have children of their own.

Becoming a grandparent is quite lovely, an affirmation of continuity and a front-row-seat to watch (and even, on occasion, participate) as life itself is conveyed into the future. But aging is also our most undeniable memento mori, a reminder not so much of life as one’s own eventual death. My grandfather’s death frightened me as few things have since, except for the recurring recognition (usually at night, alone, in the dark) that his life, everyone’s life, even—astoundingly—my own, is short indeed.

All things, especially living ones, are marinating in the river of time. We see and understand that our bodies will wear out and we will die. At least that’s how it looks through the lens of Western science, where all things come to an end, winding down in a final surrender to entropy. But there’s another perspective, surprisingly in harmony with science, that helps us revisit that huge and ancient terror—fear of time itself—in a new and perhaps even reassuring way. And that is the perspective offered by Buddhism.

For Buddhists, the “center cannot hold,” as the poet W.B. Yeats pointed out, because it doesn’t exist as something rigidly separate from everything else. Nothing is permanent and unchanging, ourselves included. Attempting to cling to a solid, immutable core of a self is a fool’s errand because time not only creates anarchy, it provides the unavoidable matrix within which everything—animate and inanimate, sentient and insensate—ebbs and flows.

Via Wildcat2030
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This Philosopher Helped Ensure There Was No Nobel for Relativity - Issue 35: Boundaries - Nautilus

This Philosopher Helped Ensure There Was No Nobel for Relativity - Issue 35: Boundaries - Nautilus | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
On April 6, 1922, Einstein met a man he would never forget. He was one of the most celebrated philosophers of the century, widely…
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Forget mindfulness, stop trying to find yourself and start faking it

Forget mindfulness, stop trying to find yourself and start faking it | Wisdom 1.0 | Scoop.it
Why is the history of Chinese philosophy now the most popular course at Harvard? Top tips on how to become a better person according to Confucius and co
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