Category: Philosophy

Cezanne’s Writings and Finding Meaning in Nature

It’s becoming increasingly difficult as time progresses for humanity to have any connection to nature. And almost to solidify this, a lot of the books written on the subject seem to us to be some misguided attempt to strip away the modern pleasures that we enjoy – technology, entertainment and lifestyle. We rebel against the ...

An Entitlement Complex, or Gen Y’s Quest for Meaning?

In the late 1950s, Frederick Herzberg conducted surveys on what we now term “The Greatest Generation,” those who fought during WWII. Selecting a group of factory workers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Herzberg asked “what do you like and dislike about your job?” After months of research and a literature review of thousands of similar studies, Herzberg concluded ...

How to Find Meaning in Work

The argument for perspective has won. No longer can we question what is wrong with life, the world or the absurdity of a checkout line. Instead we must embrace -not the triviality of adult existence- but a new perspective on why the trivial is not so trivial at all. The late David Foster Wallace tells us that ...

Book Excerpt: On Empathy

It is a simple matter to rank the empathy we feel for those around us. Consider the following: How aggrieved would you be if a family member was murdered? How about a friend? An acquaintance? A stranger? A stranger overseas? A stranger 100 years ago in history? Our empathy diminishes the further we get from ...

Why Cliches are Meaningless (So Stop Using Them)

There is a growing trend of what I like to think of as the outsourcing of thought – where our own thoughts are subservient to those deemed “superior authorities”. Part of this collective-mind-holiday comes from the Internet: our tool to disassociate ourselves from the process of thinking. The rest comes from expert culture, and what ...

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True Detective and the Myth of the Intellectual

In 1784 Immanuel Kant answered a question, posed a year earlier by Reverend Johann Friedrich Zöllner – “What is enlightenment?” His answer was that enlightenment “was man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity”. A state of immaturity is when one allows another’s reason to guide them. Hence enlightenment was using your own rationality to guide your decisions, thoughts and actions. Kant went on ...

The Politics of Division: How Politics Destroys Rationality

There’s a long-running trend in student politics for students to shout out “shame” when their opposing political party is mentioned. I first heard this in 2012 in the heady days of the Gillard Government and Abbott Opposition. It was the Howard Debating Cup, and I had come to watch a friend debate. Liberals packed the ...

Truth, Myths and Meaning

J. R. R. Tolkein once said that myths, “At the very least… allow us to catch a fleeting, but all so powerful glimpse at the beauty that lies beyond the walls [of our material existence]. Myths show us a fleeting glimpse of truth itself.” There is an archaic primacy to this argument. If one stretched ...

Racial Discrimination Act – Legalising Hate Speech

The Government has released a draft Bill on changes to the Act - see the link at the bottom of this post. The government has indicated it intends to make racist hate speech, racist publications and racial slurs legal in Australia. This goes against the very grain of Australian society, as a place where people ...

Unrequited Love is Evil

I heard it once said that unrequited love is the universal language. Dipping its hand into every culture across the planet, it plagues men with the inability to ‘get what they want’ and ‘deserve’. We romanticise rejection in books, films and TV as something lonely, yet glorious. Bitter, yet grand as a symphony in full ...