Was There a First Human Language?: Theories from the Enlightenment Through Noam Chomsky

≡ Category: Biology, Philosophy, Science |Leave a Comment

During the 17th and 18th centuries, European Enlightenment philosophers discarded the origin stories in religious texts as wildly implausible or simply allegorical. But they found themselves charged with coming up with their own, naturalistic explanations for the origins of life, law, morality, etc.


Why Socrates Hated Democracies: An Animated Case for Why Self-Government Requires Wisdom & Education

≡ Category: Philosophy, Politics |8 Comments

How often have you heard the quote in one form or another? “Democracy is the worst form of Government,” said Winston Churchill in 1947, “except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time….


Zen Master Alan Watts Explains What Made Carl Jung Such an Influential Thinker

≡ Category: Philosophy, Psychology |9 Comments

The twentieth century produced a fair few thinkers on the human mind whose observations still resonate today.


Philosopher Richard Rorty Chillingly Predicts the Results of the 2016 Election … Back in 1998

≡ Category: Literature, Philosophy, Politics |20 Comments

Twenty years ago a strong academic left in universities all over the world spoke to political culture the way that a globalized nationalist far-right seems to now. Among public intellectuals in the U.S., Richard Rorty’s name held particular sway.


Henry David Thoreau on When Civil Disobedience and Resistance Are Justified (1849)

≡ Category: Philosophy, Politics |2 Comments

History is rife with examples of oppressive governments. The present is rife with examples of oppressive governments. You can name your own examples.


An Animated, Monty Python-Style Introduction to the Søren Kierkegaard, the First Existentialist

≡ Category: Philosophy |Leave a Comment


When first I visited Copenhagen, I went over, as many tourists do, to the Assistens Cemetery to find the grave of Søren Kierkegaard.


What Did Nietzsche Really Mean When He Wrote “God is Dead”?

≡ Category: Philosophy |11 Comments

The quote inspired an anxious 1966 Time magazine cover, and a preachy 2016 movie franchise that works hard to inoculate the faithful against atheism’s threatening seductions: “God is Dead,” wrote Friedrich Nietzsche in his 1882 book of incisive aphorisms, The Gay Science, and unwittingly coined a phrase now inseparable from 20th century cult


Stephen Fry Narrates 4 Philosophy Animations On the Question: How to Create a Just Society?

≡ Category: Animation, History, Philosophy |Leave a Comment

How do we create a just society? 50,000 years or so at it and humanity still has a long way to go before figuring that out, though not for lack of trying.


John Cleese & Jonathan Miller Turn Profs Talking About Wittgenstein Into a Classic Comedy Routine (1977)

≡ Category: Comedy, Philosophy |Leave a Comment


Everyone interested in philosophy must occasionally face the question of how, exactly, to define philosophy itself.


The Sights & Sounds of 18th Century Paris Get Recreated with 3D Audio and Animation

≡ Category: History, Philosophy, Technology |Leave a Comment

In what is often called the “Early Modern” period, or the “Long Eighteenth Century,” Europe witnessed an explosion of satire, not only as a political and literary weapon, but as a means of reacting to a whole new way of life that arose in the cities—principally London and Paris—as a displaced rural population and expanding bo


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