Tagged Philosophy

Quote of the Day

To those human beings who are of any concern to me I wish suffering, desolation, sickness, ill-treatment, indignities — I wish that they should not remain unfamiliar with profound self-contempt, the torture of self-mistrust, the wretchedness of the vanquished: I have no pity for them, because I wish them the only thing that can prove today whether one is worth anything or not — that one endures. —Friedrich Nietzsche. Maria Popova’s piece is well worth reading in full.

Quote of the Day

Few of today’s intellectuals would risk a sentence like this one: “The links between Jugend and culture, or more specifically between it and die Moderne, are too obvious to require comment.” They would fear being inaccessible, if not outrageously elitist. Yet it’s clear [Eric] Hobsbawm believes there is a body of knowledge that is the common inheritance, the patrimony, of all educated citizens — and that should be assumed. It’s in this, as much as through any argument he spells out, that the author shows how much has changed — and reveals himself as an emissary from a vanished world.…

In Memoriam: Ted Cohen

I never had the pleasure of taking any one of Ted Cohen’s classes, but I was fortunate enough to get plenty of exposure to him via the Latke-Hamantash debates at the University of Chicago, which Cohen so famously moderated. He was always funny, witty, and the life of just about every single event. I am sure that the debates will go on without him, but things just won’t be the same. Something must be said, of course, of Cohen’s professional dedication to taking jokes seriously; his willingness to do so was laudable. We cannot replicate humor unless we understand its nuances,…

Your Non-Shocking News of the Day

Stop the presses. Martin Heidegger was an anti-Semite: For decades, controversy has marred the legacy of Martin Heidegger, whose theories and complicity with the Nazi regime led many to brand him an anti-Semite. Yet there was never a smoking gun in the late German philosopher’s expansive work, an explicit pejorative reference to Jews or Judaism as such. Heidegger admirers and critics battled over certain passages, concepts, and personal anecdotes. But neither side could issue unequivocal evidence to put to rest the long-running feud. This, however, may change with the publication in March of Heidegger’s “black notebooks,” a kind of intellectual…

Platonic Dialogue of the Day

The first step in achieving housekeeping wisdom is to admit that one is ignorant when it comes to housekeeping. I have mentioned the following opinion before in other places, and I will mention it here: McSweeney’s is funnier than the Onion, though in fairness it should be noted that the Onion can be more profound.

Quote of the Day

I’ve seen proof, black on white, that Herr Dr. Förster has not yet severed his connection with the anti-Semitic movement. … Since then I’ve had difficulty coming up with any of the tenderness and protectiveness I’ve so long felt toward you. The separation between us is thereby decided in really the most absurd way. Have you grasped nothing of the reason why I am in the world? … Now it has gone so far that I have to defend myself hand and foot against people who confuse me with these anti-Semitic canaille; after my own sister, my former sister, and after Widemann more recently have…

Yes Virginia, Friedrich Nietzsche’s Intellectual Legacy Was Hijacked By the Nazis

Details. Here is a key passage: Fitting Nietzsche’s ideas into a single worldview was no simple matter, but this was precisely the mission of theVölkischer Beobachter’s editors and writers: to make even complex ideas such as Nietzsche’s appear to coordinate with the main tenets of Nazism. Looking into the shifting terms with which the daily newspaper presented Nietzsche helps us toward understanding how the Nazi party attempted to place his biography and writings—along with the tradition of Kultur as a whole—at the service of the Nazi outlook. In addressing the “Germanness” of Nietzsche, however, the cultural politicians of the party faced some…