Who would win in a knife fight between all the philsophers. Unlike the United States Presidency, Philosophy has been going on for thousands of years, so instead of 44 contestants there are a whopping 89. Don’t be afraid of the numbers, for I guarantee you won’t get bored; philosophers are a very interesting bunch of people, and the most rewarding part of this post has been researching their lives and finding out how crazy they all are. This will be a wild knife fight. [more inside]
On Beyond Zarathustra: A Parody for All and None. What two authors go together better than Dr. Seuss and Friedrich Nietzsche? (A work in progress, but worth sharing early.)
3QD's 2014 finalists for best blog posts on philosophical topics: Should animal products have ethical warning labels? Why is scientific uncertainty a moral responsibility [see last 4 mins.]? Should people choose probabilistically among competing moral theories? What are some bad ways of arguing about free will? Are most of us just not good enough to be utilitarians? Are volunteer soldiers morally responsible for unjust wars? Do P2P networks provide a model for something to do with consciousness, reality, and, yep, quantum mechanics? When are delusions good for us (see also)? What's up with philosophical systems that knock themselves down, e.g. Nāgārjuna's, Nietzsche's, and Rorty's? There's also an archive page for older prizes and other categories (previously).
From behind the New Yorker's temporarily removed paywall, a postmodern murder mystery from Poland in 2007.
2001: A Space Odyssey - Discerning Themes through Score and Imagery: As Ligeti's music ends, the first image we see is a celestial alignment of the sun the earth and the moon as Richard Strauss' exhilarating Also Sprach Zarathustra begins. It's critical to note that Thus Spoke Zarathustra is also a novel by Friedrich Nietzsche. This musical choice thus signals that the film deals with the same central issues in this book. [via][more inside]
How syphilis took Europe by storm during the 1490s, and the far reaching effects it's had ever since
Trial of the Will. "Reviewing familiar principles and maxims in the face of mortal illness, Christopher Hitchens has found one of them increasingly ridiculous: 'Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.' Oh, really? Take the case of the philosopher to whom that line is usually attributed, Friedrich Nietzsche, who lost his mind to what was probably syphilis. Or America’s homegrown philosopher Sidney Hook, who survived a stroke and wished he hadn’t. Or, indeed, the author, viciously weakened by the very medicine that is keeping him alive." [Via]
In 1888, German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche coined a phrase that would inspire lazy musicians for more than 100 years
The Will to Music: Nietzsche's Musical Works The recent 2010 Cambridge University Press biography of Nietzsche, Friedrich Nietzche: A Philosophical Biography, by Julian Young, comes with a companion website with 17 free musical compositions of the philosopher in mp3 and an extended commentary. [more inside]
The Guardian's How to Believe series summarizes some great philosophical works in the reversed-date format we all know and love. Giles Frasier evaluates the lasting value of Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morals, Julian Baggini tells us what to believe about Hume's critique of religion, Mary Midgeley begrudgingly accepts the majestic contributions of Hobbes' Leviathan, and Simon Critchley throws himself into the hermeneutic circle of Heidegger's Being and Time. [more inside]
I both loved and resented that wealth of warmth which Elisabeth brought to me in those unexpected hours of the night. I was usually in the midst of a sound sleep when she got into my bed, and thrilling as I found the ministrations of her fat little fingers, it also meant my being kept awake for hours and hours. Besides, though in my conscious nature I knew nothing about what was going on, I must have had a feeling that my sister was bringing to my life as accomplished facts sensations whose real value to a boy was in their being discovered as part of the experience of growing up. She was presenting me with triumphs I should by right attain only by my own efforts in a much more restricted world… [more inside]
Are We All Really Just Disembodied Brains Floating in Empty Space? Recent mathematical results in the field of cosmology related to the Boltzmann's Brain Problem may point toward a peculiarly arbitrary universe in which, as improbable as it sounds, it's more likely than not. [more inside]
One should speak only when one may not remain silent; and then speak only of that which one has overcome—everything else is chatter, "literature," lack of breeding. My writings speak only of my overcomings: "I" am in them, together with everything that was hostile to me.On January 3, 1889, Friedrich Nietzsche walked into the Piazza Carlo Alberto in Turin and saw a horse, fallen, beaten brutally by its master. Nietzsche embraced it, and thereafter never regained his reason. The story might be mythical, or borrowed. If so, it is hardly alone; myths about Nietzsche--his Nazism, his syphilis--seem to confirm his dictum that "truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions." But separating the man from the myth is impossible: Nietzsche was Zarathustra, he was Heraclitus. Like his ancient antecedents, he spoke in aphorisms and hymns, in fragments; like a bird, he fled south for the winter. "Only a fool, only a poet..."
Nietzsche Family Circus : Family Circus cartoons randomly combined with quotes from Nietzsche. Remixing Family Circus is nothing new, but I find this one fascinating.
What have you told your children about Muhammad Ali? "I was frequently left with tingling all over because I had been in the presence of such a great man and still humbled by his compassion, tolerance and understanding." Inspired by this weekend's airing by ESPN Classic of most of Tyson's fights, I started thinking about the difference between these two men. Ali obviously transcended his sport and has become more than just a boxer while Tyson is clearly a lost and troubled soul. And yet Tyson's story still inspires reflection. Nietzche's statement that "What someone is, begins to be revealed when his talent abates, when he stops showing us what he can do" is perfectly illustrated by the twilight years of these two legendary boxers.
Plato was a bore. Everything Nietzsche ever wrote is available on The Nietzsche Channel, in both English and German. They have many other Nietzsche-related resources, including a quiz. (Geocities, unfortunately.)
What do Abraham Lincoln and Friedrich Nietzsche have in common? Independent scholar Deborah Hayden has the answer.