Marshall McLuhan and Tom Wolfe: both writers, both astute observers of modern humanity, and both public figures whose work has, over the years, enjoyed high fashionability and endured high unfashionability. You might think the connection between them ends there.[...]
The history of moral philosophy in the West hinges principally on a handful of questions: Is there a God of some sort? An afterlife? Free will? And, perhaps most pressingly for humanists, what exactly is the nature of our obligations to others? The latter question has long occupied philosophers like Immanuel Kant, whose extreme formulati[...]
Whether they submit to his mighty philosophical influence, resist it with all their own might, or fall somewhere in between, everyone who’s read the pronouncements of Friedrich Nietzsche (find his ebooks here) recognizes his voice — well, his textual voice, that is.[...]
In 1949, George Orwell received a curious letter from his former high school French teacher.
Orwell had just published his groundbreaking book Nineteen Eighty-Four, which received glowing reviews from just about every corner of the English-speaking world.
A philosopher perhaps more widely known for his prodigious mustache than for the varieties of his thought, Friedrich Nietzsche often seems to be misread more than read.[...]
German philosopher Martin Heidegger, widely considered one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, was a Nazi, a fact known to most anyone with more than a passing knowledge of the subject. In a New York Review of Books essay, Harvard intellectual historian Peter E.[...]
These days Noam Chomsky is probably most famous for his consistent, outspoken criticism of U.S. foreign policy.[...]
In the world of the 8-bit video game, there may be no more a frustrating, Sisyphusean task than completing the various iterations of Mega Man. Each successive level can feel endless, as one dies and starts again, time after time, with no glorious end in sight.[...]
Here at Open Culture, we like to think we keep discussions reasonable. Not every site can say that; if you’ve ever dared to scroll down into the comments on Youtube (to pick an example purely at random) you know what I mean.[...]
These days, would we expect to find a profile of a homosexual radical-left philosopher specializing in discipline and punishment in the pages of Time magazine? Maybe, maybe not—and few of us would find out if there were one, given that the magazine seems to have long since ceded its centrality in American culture, falling back on a subscri[...]