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How To Live

Ritual Is the Husk of Faith and Loyalty

How much more rich would our relationships be
if they were based in goodness or kindness rather than justice or, even worse, dogmatic behavior which only can lead to chaos?

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Being and Existence
Metaphysics

John O’Donohue on the Mystery and Wonder of Existence

Embrace the mystery and wonder of existence by acknowledging the immensity that is inside of you.

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Being and Existence
How To Live

There Is No Such Thing as Normal

Nothing is ordained. The way we do things is our creation; we are the authors. The normal you want to go back to is really just the normal that existed right before COVID hit. 

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Metaphysics
Nature and Travel

10,000 Boxes of Salt: Some Perspective on the Size of the Universe

The universe as we know it is mind-boggling large. In fact, we cannot even properly conceive of it.

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How To Live
Nature and Travel

Be Like Water: Reflections on the Powerful Tao Te Ching Symbol

The most powerful, transformative substance on earth is also the most formless and malleable. What can the Tao Te Ching teach us about the nature of water?

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Being and Existence
Metaphysics

Matter and Spirit: The L-wing of Temple High School

Objectively, the L-wing was a small building on the backside of Temple High School. Existentially, it was much more.

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Kierkegaard-authentic
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Knowledge and Knowing

Kierkegaard on the Subjective Nature of Truth

Can an idea such as truth be subjective? If it is existentially important, Kierkegaard thought so.

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Being and Existence
How To Live

To Live is to Live Passionately

Young people bear the brunt of many blanketed accusations related to behavior.  An especially common one is that they spend all their time mindlessly absorbed in their phones.  The trend of staring into cell phones is, of course, not strictly reserved to kids; I see plenty of adults of all ages staring into that magical […]

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Nature and Travel

Finding Myself in Oxford

Note: this essay was written in the summer of 2018. Going on a trip to “find yourself” after an emotionally traumatic event is a venerable old cliche, yet it happened to me. It was not on purpose and I did not recognize until some years later, but visiting Oxford in 2008 for three weeks as […]

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Being and Existence
Metaphysics
Religion and Spirituality

Does the Universe Have Metaphysical Meaning?

Note – this is part three of a three part series. In the previous post, Biological and Existential Meaning, I took the claim that the universe is without meaning and explored it strictly from a biological and existential perspective. This investigation into meaning cannot be complete without considering metaphysical meaning, which might also be called […]

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Being and Existence

Biological and Existential Meaning

Does our existence have meaning? Yes, it does both biologically and existentially.

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Being and Existence

Does the Universe Have Meaning?

What does it mean when we say that the universe does or does not have meaning?

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Metaphysics
Religion and Spirituality

Trying to Find God in the Cosmological Argument

Where Did We Come From? Do you remember the first time you had that moment where the immensity, size, range, ratio and infinite nature of the universe suddenly struck you, and it was so overwhelmingly massive, your mind could not create a container large enough to hold it? And you wondered where it came from, […]

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Being and Existence
Metaphysics

Life’s a Beach: Imagination and Reality

Is imagining something any less real than actually doing it? And if so, what does this say about experience?

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The Decline of Western Liberalism and You

By Ethan Eyre – Great Britain is leaving the European Union. How did we get to this point, what does it mean for Western Liberalism, and how should the individual respond?

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Knowledge and Knowing

Preserving the Past and Building the Future through Special Collections

By Maddie Keyser – Why do we bother preserving any rare materials in the first place? What is the value in using an original rather than a digitized copy or modern editions?

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How To Live

Dying Daily: How to Handle Life’s Challenges

By Madeline Diamont – We can bleed and feel that pain, embrace it and wait for the scar to form so we can continue on with our lives and our mission to be better. 

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Ethics and Morality

What Kind of Person Do You Want to Be?

By Rory Jones – Life rules are not bad, but they must be assessed to determine if they align with the person we want to be or if they need to be cast off in favor of more robust life rules.

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Knowledge and Knowing

Trust, Paranoia, and Giving our Word

By Josh Petersen – Testimony, I think, defines in part what it means to be human — to cooperatively and socially understand the difficult and massive world around us. When we lose that ability, we also lose a part of what makes us human, what makes us social creatures.

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Religion and Spirituality

Why Does Suffering Exist?

By Taylor Gross – The amount of suffering in the world seems disproportionate to the amount of human progress.

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Being and Existence

Relationships and the Value of Value

By Emilee Clark –

Think about the relationship you have with people in your daily life and the status of those relationships? Do you value some more than others?

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Being and Existence

Sunsets, New Beginnings, and Uncertainty

By Lillian Rutledge –  In Albert Camus’ The Stranger, an existentialist novel, the sun causes Meursault to lose his sanity and his compassion, but it isn’t until the sun actually sets that he experiences this loss; specifically in jail following his trial, Meursault becomes distraught with God, with life in general, and feels as if […]

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Aesthetics
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Religion and Spirituality

Can Music Be Philosophical?

By Andrew Graziano – Only when you are captivated by an idea or theme do you then want to explore it. Mahler explains that the same concept applies to a piece of music.

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Ethics and Morality

The Life I Can Save: Helping Alleviate Global Poverty and Human Suffering

Last semester I mentioned to my students that I believe one of the purposes of philosophy is to unsettle us. I then offered the age-old example of Socrates who likened himself to a type of biting fly that arouses a sluggish horse to action through irritation and pain. I then mentioned the philosopher Peter Singer, […]

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Blackwell's Philosophy in the Bookshop
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Being and Existence

Finding a Place Called Home

While recently finishing the intriguing book Galileo’s Error by Philip Goff, I was reminded of an interview with the author and Philip Pullman as part of the Philosophy in the Bookshop series hosted by Nigel Warburton. This monthly event takes place in the Norrington Room at Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford, England.  While watching the YouTube video, […]

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Jean-Paul Sartre Working
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Being and Existence
How To Live

Freedom and Responsibility (and Donuts) According to Jean-Paul Sartre

When I was growing up, a common refrain heard on the elementary school playground was: “I can do what I want. It’s a free county.” This was a frustrating argument my fourth grade brain knew on some level was not true, yet it was used to justify all kinds of nefarious school yard abuses.  “It’s […]

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Miguel de Unamuno on Love
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Being and Existence
Metaphysics
Religion and Spirituality

From Where Does Love Originate? Miguel de Unamuno Believed It to Be Shared Suffering and Pity

From where does love originate? Many thinkers have attempted to pin down its cause, but whether it be romantic or platonic, from where love originates remains elusive and amorphous. In one of the most beautiful descriptions of love, Michel de Montaigne left the cause of his friendship with Étienne de La Boétie firmly in the […]

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Metaphysics

Homescapes Raises the Question of Why We Do the Things We Do

I have been playing this phone game called Homescapes by the company Playrix which has caused me to think of how, in some ways, it brings to light issues related to why we do the things we do and the nature of reality.  The premise of the game is that you are trying to help […]

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