A Great Dane gave Rousseau a rare moment of selfless "wonderful calm." Then he died.
A blog about ideas, popular culture, philosophy, and personal enthusiasms (or "springs of delight") of all kinds.
The dogs and I ambled through our neighborhood version of the Sandwalk this morning, over on the grounds of the nearby Baptist Church that we almost always have exclusively to ourselves. This time, though, we encountered something I'll bet Mr. Darwin and Bob never did: screeching Vacation Bible Schoolers, and firefighters on break. A good reminder that solitary walking always happens against a social backdrop, whether we're explicitly aware of that during the walk or not. Today we were definitely aware.hen Rousseau died in July 1778, the unfinished manuscript of Reveries was discovered along with the 27 playing cards on which Rousseau had jotted down his thoughts while walking. He had been working on the 10 "Walks" that comprise Reveries until three months before he died. "I am devoting my last days to studying myself," he wrote. The result is remarkable, the work of a man who felt himself rejected by society and who turned in on himself. His random walks spark brilliant "flights of thought" on life, nature and the falsity of society. Although not intended for publication, Reveries has been hugely influential, as Russell Goulbourne's excellent introduction to his new translation makes clear. The Reveries inspired Wordsworth's ambulatory poem The Prelude and Baudelaire considered naming a collection of poems about Paris The Solitary Walker. Rousseau's walks are not urban, but there are also clear parallels with the Parisian flâneurs and the dérive of the Situationists. A powerful meditation on the quest for self-understanding.
Behold me, then, as if alone upon the earth, having neither brother, relative, friend, or society, but my own thoughts; the most social and affectionate of men, proscribed, as it were, by unanimous consent.Of course it's true that, just because you're paranoid, it doesn't follow that everyone might not be plotting against you. But Rousseau really seems to have had serious difficulty latching and hanging onto interpersonal and social reality. He did make some real enemies, as you might have guessed, and David Hume tried to offer sanctuary and friendship. It didn't last. (See Rousseau's Dog.)
It is a pleasing confidence that... by working our stint day by day on the one line we have chosen, without looking ahead or thinking much of the final result, we are sure of waking some fine morning, experts in our particular branch, with a tact, so to speak for truth therein: a judgment, and ideas and intuitions of our own - all there without our knowing exactly how they came. (April 8, 1871, cited in Robert Richardson's bio)Put in the hours and days, and the years and career will take care of themselves. Lay down the right habits of work and routine, and eventually you may expect to soar like those skimming Amazon gulls. Or at least you'll figure a few things out, maybe even publish a book or a few. As Annie Dillard said (and as Maria Popova never tires of repeating), how we spend our days is how we spend our lives. A step at a time.
University officials said it dedicated the ROTC building as Nathan Bedford Forrest Hall in 1958 because of Forrest's military record with the Confederate Army and his Middle Tennessee ties. The Confederate cavalry leader was known for his tactical battlefield skills and for leading a successful 1862 raid that captured more than 1,000 Union troops and freed local residents in Murfreesboro. He also reportedly served as the first grand wizard for the Ku Klux Klan after the war...Phil Oliver, a 12-year philosophy professor at MTSU, said it's past time to rename the building for someone who isn't a "symbol of racism.
"I'm embarrassed every time I teach there," Oliver said.And pass by. Or even just think of it. Dropping bad symbols doesn't solve racism but it's not (contrary to the opinion of a "Smyrna resident") a mere "laughing matter" either. If we're ruthlessly enforcing high standards of humanity, that name's got to go.
The word "epiphenomenon" is missing from Bierce's dictionary, but its flavor is there.The post hoc fallacy does not necessarily lead to epiphenomenalism and the impotence of consciousness, but the latter inclines us to commit a reverse fallacy: detecting no cause where there might in fact be one.
EFFECT, n. The second of two phenomena which always occur together in the same order. The first, called a Cause, is said to generate the other—which is no more sensible than it would be for one who has never seen a dog except in the pursuit of a rabbit to declare the rabbit the cause of a dog.
John Post's THE FACES OF EXISTENCE (1986) is not among the most widely read or commented upon books in philosophy. This is due to a deficiency in the philosophical profession, not to a deficiency in Post's book, which may well be one of the two or three best books published in the second half of the 20th century... John Post may well be one of the last genuine philosophers.You're too pessimistic, "Schopenhauer." But Post's definitely a good guy, and I'm delighted to be in his book. Whenever I think of it, and him, I'm reminded to resist the reductive aspirations of my more ideological peers. And I'm reminded that philosophy is supposed to make a difference.
Hegel was charmed with the beauty of nature about Heidelberg. He writes home that his wife, when she joins him, will then first know what walks can be. Hegel lived at almost the outskirts of the town. He was often* seen at his windows, looking out, in Socratic meditation, toward the forest stretches and the haze-softened hills beyond...
One more difference between Hegel & me. I'd notice.We are told that, during the summer of 18 17, he was often so lost in thought that he was quite oblivious to outer happenings. Once, it is said, he was walking to the university building over a miry piece of ground. One shoe remained sticking in the mud. Hegel went on his way without noticing the loss.
"When Darwin left the house by the lawn door, Bob always believed they were both heading off down the garden for the morning's constitutional. He was excited."I too am very familiar with the face of canine ambulatory-anticipatory excitement, and with the "hothouse" face of dejection. I have no doubt, Bob was a daily Sandwalker too. He helped his friend think, and like my dogs helped him not overthink.