The meaning and symbolism behind gifts- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that gifts were much more meaningful things than we imagine them to be. They are not merely objects which we exchange at times and events which require it of us, but each instance of gifting has a deep meaning behind it, symbolising the connection between giver and recipient. He believed that…… Continue reading The meaning and symbolism behind gifts- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Can modern art bridge the gap of the subject/object divide?

One issue which has puzzled philosophers for hundreds of years is that of ‘other minds’.  Thomas Nagel made this puzzle iconic in modern philosophy with his essay ‘what is it like to be a bat?’. In this paper, he points out the problem of the subject/object divide. I, the experiencer, am the subject; my experiences are…… Continue reading Can modern art bridge the gap of the subject/object divide?

Mythologies- Barthes on… Romans in film

In his essay, Romans in films, Barthes draws his attention to the working symbols in Mankiewicz’s film Julius Caesar. One thing which he points as striking is that all the characters have fringes. This is a working symbol of the film because it unifies all of the characters, giving them a chosen ‘Roman-ness’. It is…… Continue reading Mythologies- Barthes on… Romans in film

Are you really sure it’s all so simple?

There is a very real demand for transparency in politics, in the media, in cultural representations. We can’t switch on our televisions without feeling that we aren’t being given the truth. That’s not to say we’re being fed lies, but to say that distortions and exaggerations are untruths as much as lies are untruths. Body…… Continue reading Are you really sure it’s all so simple?

Ralph Waldo Emerson- Circles. An essay of spiritual growth.

“The eye is the first circle; The horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end”- R. W. Emerson. Emerson took the circle to be a veritable metaphor for nature. It described human thought and navigation of life, and the laws of nature. His essay was highly…… Continue reading Ralph Waldo Emerson- Circles. An essay of spiritual growth.

Descartes’ Meditations, 1/3

In this post, I intend to explain Rene Descartes’ Meditations. It is one of the most important and influential books in the history of philosophy, so deserves to be understood. I do not intend to engage with the text very much, merely explain what the text is about. I shall leave readers to muse upon…… Continue reading Descartes’ Meditations, 1/3

Is the rational or instinctive self the real self?

In trying to answer the question of what a person actually is, by which I mean what is essentially them, we can approach the question by asking the following- what can be taken away from a person’s identity without them ceasing to be them? Thinking back to Derek Parfit’s Teleporter thought experiment, we can wonder…… Continue reading Is the rational or instinctive self the real self?

The Hindu View of Life by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Radhakrishnan starts off by confronting the classic question of what Hinduism actually is. This, he does not answer directly, for a very good reason: Hinduism isn’t an internally recognized word, but a name given to the sub-continent of India by outsiders. Later, it was recognized by Hindus as being a practicable working name. This was…… Continue reading The Hindu View of Life by Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

Seneca’s on The Shortness of Life and its implications on identity

In Seneca’s famous essay “On The Shortness of Life”, he declares that life can seem short if you waste it away, but life can be long if you know how to use it. What Seneca is interested in here is how effectively we utilise the spare time we have in our lives. If we spend…… Continue reading Seneca’s on The Shortness of Life and its implications on identity