Book-Text-Read-Zines · Philosophy · Theory

Philosophical Temperaments: From Plato to Foucault

Peter Sloterdijk turns his keen eye to the history of western thought, conducting colorful readings of the lives and ideas of the world’s most influential intellectuals. Featuring nineteen vignettes rich in personal characterizations and theoretical analysis, Sloterdijk’s companionable volume casts the development of philosophical thinking not as a buildup of compelling books and arguments but as a lifelong, intimate struggle with intellectual and spiritual movements, filled with as many pitfalls and derailments as transcendent breakthroughs.

Sloterdijk delves into the work and times of Aristotle, Augustine, Bruno, Descartes, Foucault, Fichte, Hegel, Husserl, Kant, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Marx, Nietzsche, Pascal, Plato, Sartre, Schelling, Schopenhauer, and Wittgenstein. He provocatively juxtaposes Plato against shamanism and Marx against Gnosticism, revealing both the vital external influences shaping these intellectuals’ thought and the excitement and wonder generated by the application of their thinking in the real world. The philosophical “temperament” as conceived by Sloterdijk represents the uniquely creative encounter between the mind and a diverse array of cultures. It marks these philosophers’ singular achievements and the special dynamic at play in philosophy as a whole. Creston Davis’s introduction details Sloterdijk’s own temperament, surveying the celebrated thinker’s intellectual context, rhetorical style, and philosophical persona.

Text and Image via CUP

Human-ities · Philosophy · Science

Are We the Reason for the Universe’s Existence? The Anthropic Principle Reconsidered

Multiverse by BellaCielo

You are special. Don’t worry, this is not the start of yet another Joel Osteen sermon. I mean only that your existence, itself a wildly improbable fact, increasingly seems to be the only peg on which cosmologists can hang the existence of our Universe.

Oh, and not just you, by the way. I’m special, too. All of us observers capable of wondering why we are here are special, because we contribute to what is known as the Anthropic Principle. Here’s the nub of it, given by Stephen Hawking and a colleague in 1973: “The answer to the question ‘why is the universe [the way it is]?’ is ‘because we are here.'”

There’s something odd about that. As the cosmologist George F.R. Ellis notes, the Anthropic Principle sends the arrow of causation winging, feathers first, back to the bow. It declares, to paraphrase DesCartes, “I think, therefore the Multiverse.”

Written by Clay Farris Naff at the Huffington Post. Continue HERE