Evangelion ends: Aristotle, Arendt, and angels

The old is dying and the new cannot yet be born. This is the time of monsters. Antonio Gramsci (paraphrase) To defeat darkness, embrace it. Edmund Wilson ‘You’re just desperate.’ ‘I’m terrified.’ Dialogue from Neon Genesis Evangelion Pain is an inevitable consequence of truth. You have to learn to withstand it. In the end, humans … Continue reading Evangelion ends: Aristotle, Arendt, and angels

The uniqueness of genius

I’ve been thinking about genius. It is often said that genius is unique. But what does this mean? On the origins of genius: Plato and Aristotle in Raphael’s School of Athens. The uniqueness of a genius lies precisely, I argue, in their ability to see past their own uniqueness. While everyone else looks at the … Continue reading The uniqueness of genius

The wisdom of Wittgenstein: Why ‘linguistic violence’ is a good thing — and perhaps the best remedy to real, physical violence

‘Linguistic violence’, or the breaking of barriers concerning words with emotional consequences, may or may not have a foundation analogous to the foundation of physical violence, or the breaking of barriers concerning deeds with physical consequences. But even if it does, that makes linguistic violence a good thing — as it diverts energy from physical … Continue reading The wisdom of Wittgenstein: Why ‘linguistic violence’ is a good thing — and perhaps the best remedy to real, physical violence

Trying my patience: The distinction between philosophy and sophistry

I have recently been confronted with the idea of sophistry, and the weaponisation of this term to attack philosophy. But I do not think this is philosophical. Indeed, to use sophistry to attack philosophy is itself sophistical. Let me explain how sophistry and philosophy differ, by contrasting two ancient Greek individuals: Isocrates, and Socrates. Ludwig … Continue reading Trying my patience: The distinction between philosophy and sophistry