The sublime – and the Artemis Space Program

My very first publication, written almost ten years ago now, was on the concept of the sublime in philosophical aesthetics. What is the sublime? Probably everybody old enough to have refined aesthetic experiences will know what it feels like, even if they don’t know its name. It’s the sense of being wondrously overwhelmed by theContinue reading “The sublime – and the Artemis Space Program”

Philosophy and place

The connection between philosophy and place is an important one, particularly for biographical sketches of great philosophers: Epicurus in his garden; Diogenes in his barrel; Nietzsche in Sils Maria, and so on. The connection between the two is occasionally more than just aesthetic, as these examples illustrate: a place can also cut to the heartContinue reading “Philosophy and place”

On (modern) Stoicism

An article recently published in the New Statesman on Stoicism, by Nancy Sherman, has led me to think at length about this particular branch of philosophy for probably the first time. Sherman’s article argues that Stoicism isn’t actually about the individual – or at least, not exclusively – but in fact the community too. AsContinue reading “On (modern) Stoicism”

Nishitani Keiji & Nothingness

As a continuation of my dive into the Kyoto School of Japanese philosophy, I’m currently reading Nishitani Keiji’s Religion and Nothingness (1961 [1982]). Nishitani was a Zen Buddhist who studied under Nishida Kitarō. Like his teacher, Nishitani sought to explain something of the Zen experience through terminology and concepts provided by Western thinkers. Where Nishitani’sContinue reading “Nishitani Keiji & Nothingness”

Practical philosophy

In his excellent and reasonably well-known book, An Inquiry into the Good (1911), Nishida Kitarō states: “Philosophical views of the world and of human life relate closely to the practical demands of morality and religion, which dictate how people should act and where they can find peace of mind.” Nishida says this as a matterContinue reading “Practical philosophy”

Heidegger and(/or) Jonas

Two philosophers have dominated my attention from my undergraduate degree through to my PhD and beyond. The first is Martin Heidegger, and the second is his one-time student, Hans Jonas. I hadn’t encountered Heidegger’s work prior to becoming an undergraduate, and at that time was instead impressed by other great ‘Continental’ European philosophers: Hegel, Marx,Continue reading “Heidegger and(/or) Jonas”