“The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
–Alfred North Whitehead

  • Learning to Read is Reading Between the Lines

    A few weeks shy of 21 and I am beginning to feel as though I actually understand the words that I read. A book for my adolescent self was a mysterious collection of arcane references to cultural antipodes of thought I had not yet run the gauntlet through. When I read a chapter today, I… Read more

  • Karma

    Between cause and effect there is no difference or separation. This, in short, is the doctrine of karmic retribution. It appears to contradict common sense, and indeed we must admit that it does so. Common sense is the law of the land, but we must here draw a distinction between land and sky, between earth… Read more

  • The Meaning of Meaning

    Those with distaste for metaphysics need not read past this period. If you’re still reading, I’ll take it that you, like me, have a sense for the mysterious weirdness of existence. All in all, the concept of existence seems to me to be at least improbable, and, at most, a never-ending free-fall of Being toward… Read more

  • Open Letter to Richard Dawkins

    I have not read Dawkins’ latest book, The God Delusion, but I’m sure I agree with just about all of what he argued for in it. The idea that a personal God is responsible for the creation and maintenance of this universe, that He answers prayers and passes judgment upon the deeds of men, is… Read more

  • What is the ego?

    1. What is the ego? The Buddhist wants to say the ego is a fiction, as this seems to be the only way to avoid the reductio ad absurdum inherent to mind/body dualism. If the ego is real, it must exist in a self-contained dimension not subject to the laws of time and space. It… Read more

  • Alien Civilization

    Why do we insist on measuring alien technology in terms of time? We say, “It is likely that advanced forms of alien life are thousands, if not millions of years ahead of us technologically.” First off, what is it we typically mean when we refer to “technology”? Do we mean something material and mechanical? Something… Read more

“In one sense philosophy does nothing. It merely satisfies the entirely impractical craving to probe and adjust ideas which have been found adequate each in its special sphere of use. In the same way the ocean tides do nothing. Twice daily they beat upon the cliffs of continents and then retire. But have patience and look deeper; and you find that in the end whole continents of thought have been submerged by philosophic tides, and have been rebuilt in the depths awaiting emergence. The fate of humanity depends upon the ultimate continental faith by which it shapes its action, and this faith is in the end shaped by philosophy.” 

Alfred North Whitehead