A Beautiful Short Documentary Takes You Inside New York City’s Last Great Chess Store
Chess Forum in Greenwich Village is, like Gramercy Typewriter and the Upper East Side’s Tender Buttons, the sort of shop New Yorkers ..
Bertrand Russell’s Advice For How (Not) to Grow Old: “Make Your Interests Gradually Wider and More Impersonal”
Advice on how to grow old frequently comes from such banal or bloodless sources that we can be forgiven for ignoring it. Public health officials ..
Hunter S. Thompson, Existentialist Life Coach, Presents Tips for Finding Meaning in Life
Image by Steve Anderson, via Wikimedia Commons At first blush, Hunter S. Thompson might be the last person you would want to ask for advice. ..
Alan Watts Dispenses Wit & Wisdom on the Meaning of Life in Three Animated Videos
Since his death in 1973, the popular British philosopher, writer, speaker, and onetime-Episcopal-priest-turned-student-of-Zen-and-wildly-eclectic-countercultural-spiritual-thinker ..
The Journal of Controversial Ideas, Co-Founded by Philosopher Peter Singer, Will Publish & Defend Pseudonymous Articles, Regardless of the Backlash
Photo of Peter Singer by Mat Vickers, via Wikimedia Commons Australian bioethicist Peter Singer has made headlines as few philosophers do with ..
The Sublimity of The Forbidden City and The Great Wall
As we disembarked the plane in Beijing, I got my first indication of how hot it was going to be during our three week stay in China. ..
A Book about Women in Philosophy by Women in Philosophy: Help Crowdfund It
This past summer, we highlighted the Encyclopedia of Concise Concepts by Women Philosophers, a resource that aims to introduce ..
R. Crumb Illustrates Jean-Paul Sartre’s Nausea: Existentialism Meets Underground Comics
Sartre’s novel Nausea introduced his philosophical view as a form of illness to a WWII readership. “Nausea is existence ..
See Albert Camus’ Historic Lecture, “The Human Crisis,” Performed by Actor Viggo Mortensen
Back in 2016, New York City staged a month-long festival celebrating Albert Camus‘ historic visit to NYC in 1946. One event ..
Cinematic Nihilism now on Edinburgh Scholarship Online
My book, Cinematic Nihilism: Encounters, Confrontations, Overcomings, is now available on Edinburgh Scholarship Online. Edinburgh Scholarship ..
What Ancient Chinese Philosophy Can Teach Us About Living the Good Life Today: Lessons from Harvard’s Popular Professor, Michael Puett
It has at times been concerning for some Buddhist scholars and teachers to watch mindfulness become an integral part of self-help programs. ..
Hear a 19-Hour Playlist of Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Favorite Music: Schubert, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, and… Yvette Guilbert
Among his many varied interests—which, in addition to philosophy, included aeronautical engineering and architecture—Ludwig ..
An Animated Introduction to the Existentialist Philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre… and How It Can Open Our Eyes to Life’s Possibilities
Among the vogue names of midcentury Western philosophy, few ever rose to such cultural heights as that of Jean-Paul Sartre. Fans once dropped ..
Noam Chomsky Explains What’s Wrong with Postmodern Philosophy & French Intellectuals, and How They End Up Supporting Oppressive Power Structures
Noam Chomsky has always had irascible tendencies—when he doesn’t like something, he lets us know it, without ever raising his voice ..
An Animated Introduction to Epicurus and His Answer to the Ancient Question: What Makes Us Happy?
These days the word Epicurean tends to get thrown around in regard to things like olive oil, cutting boards, and wine aerators. The real ..
Theorist Judith Butler Explains How Behavior Creates Gender: A Short Introduction to “Gender Performativity”
“One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman,” wrote Simone de Beauvoir in one of the most famous articulations of the difference ..
Jean-Paul Sartre’s Concepts of Freedom & “Existential Choice” Explained in an Animated Video Narrated by Stephen Fry
The non-existence, or non-importance, of the self has for millennia been an uncontroversial proposition in Eastern thought. But Western ..
The Philosophy of “Optimistic Nihilism,” Or How to Find Purpose in a Meaningless Universe
In one account of human affairs, an all-powerful deity rules over everything. Nothing can occur without the knowledge and sanction of the omnipotent ..
What Makes The Death of Socrates a Great Work of Art?: A Thought-Provoking Reading of David’s Philosophical & Political Painting
When we think of political propaganda, we do not typically think of French Neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David. There’s something ..
Three Huge Volumes of Stoic Writings by Seneca Now Free Online, Thanks to Tim Ferriss
“The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today,” wrote Lucius Annaeus Seneca the Younger. ..
“The Philosopher’s Web,” an Interactive Data Visualization Shows the Web of Influences Connecting Ancient & Modern Philosophers
How do we begin to read philosophy? Can we slide a book from the shelf, thumb through it casually, picking out the bits of wisdom that make ..
Watch The Idea, the First Animated Film to Grapple with Big, Philosophical Ideas (1932)
A vague sense of disquiet settled over Europe in the period between World War I and World War II. As the slow burn of militant ultranationalism ..
The Existential Philosophy of Cowboy Bebop, the Cult Japanese Anime Series, Explored in a Thoughtful Video Essay
Super Dimension Fortress Macross, Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Neon Genesis Evangelion — these are the kind of titles that ..
The Philosophical Appreciation of Rocks in China & Japan: A Short Introduction to an Ancient Tradition
In addition to summing up Socrates and his European heirs, Alain de Botton has also applied his five-minute animated video approach to the very ..
Alan Watts Explains the Meaning of the Tao, with the Help of the Greatest Nancy Panel Ever Drawn
A Nancy panel is an irreducible concept, an atom, and the comic strip is a molecule. – comics theorist Scott McCloud A little over ..
Hugh Hefner (RIP) Defends “the Playboy Philosophy” to William F. Buckley, 1966
“Mr. Hefner’s magazine is most widely known for its total exposure of the human female,” says William F. Buckley, introducing ..
How Can We Know What is True? And What Is BS? Tips from Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman & Michael Shermer
Science denialism may be a deeply entrenched and enormously damaging political phenomenon. But it is not a wholly practical one, or we would ..
When Michel Foucault Tripped on Acid in Death Valley and Called It “The Greatest Experience of My Life” (1975)
Image by Nemomain, via Wikimedia Commons French theorist Michel Foucault rose to international prominence with his critical histories—or ..
An Animated Introduction to Rene Descartes & His Philosophy of Radical Doubt
Early Enlightenment French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes invented a new genre of philosophy, we might say, one that ..
What Is Freedom? Watch Four Philosophy Animations on Freedom & Free Will Narrated by Harry Shearer
Growing up in America, I heard nearly every behavior, no matter how unpleasant, justified with the same phrase: “It’s a free ..
An Animated Introduction to Ludwig Wittgenstein & His Philosophical Insights on the Problems of Human Communication
In the recorded history of philosophy, there may be no sharper a mind than Ludwig Wittgenstein. A bête noire, enfant terrible, and all other ..