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Two new essays – and more to come

I haven’t written on here for a good while as I’ve been busy with various things, some quite exciting. The first and least dramatic development is that I’ve been conducting research for the second chapter of my new book. This chapter will be on Heidegger, and in preparation for writing it I’ve read Rüdiger Safranski’s…

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 the…

New book update #2

Over the last month I’ve been ticking along with my new book, and so I wanted to make a quick note, primarily for my own benefit, of what I’ve achieved and the changes it’s undergone. Firstly, I was busy rewriting the introduction again and again and again to try to get the tone right. This…

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 heart…

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. As…

New book: update #1

A couple of months ago I sketched out the rationale and basic structure of what I hope to be my next book. Since then I’ve continued to research and even made a start with writing, so I wanted to put down a brief record here of what I’ve achieved so far. The working title of…

Returning to Nietzsche

I haven’t written on here for some time, since I’ve been busy with various things including collating ideas for the book I outlined last time. But, currently mildly ill with Covid, I have the time and space to put some thoughts down about my current reading. (Speaking of Covid: a future post will have to…

New book: a sketch

Over the last few weeks I’ve started to formulate a plan, or at least a vague idea, of a new book. This book will take its inspiration from something I’ve mentioned in my last couple of blog posts: that non-academic philosophical writing is able to speak to existential concerns in an engaging and hopefully enlightening…

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’s…

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 matter…

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