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Posts Tagged ‘philosophers

“All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain”*…

 

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To Epictetus’ dictum in the title of this post, one might add “disdain”…

“That most deformed concept-cripple of all time.”

Friedrich Nietzsche on Immanuel Kant

“Hegel, installed from above, by the powers that be, as the certified Great Philosopher, was a flat-headed, insipid, nauseating, illiterate charlatan who reached the pinnacle of audacity in scribbling together and dishing up the craziest mystifying nonsense.”

Arthur Schopenhauer on Georg Hegel

“There’s no ‘theory’ in any of this stuff, not in the sense of theory that anyone is familiar with in the sciences or any other serious field. Try to find… some principles from which you can deduce conclusions, empirically testable propositions where it all goes beyond the level of something you can explain in five minutes to a 12-year-old. See if you can find that when the fancy words are decoded. I can’t. So I’m not interested in that kind of posturing. Žižek is an extreme example of it. I don’t see anything to what he’s saying.”

Noam Chomsky on Slavoj Žižek

“Well, with all deep respect that I do have for Chomsky, my… point is that Chomsky, who always emphasizes how one has to be empirical, accurate… well, I don’t think I know a guy who was so often empirically wrong.”

Slavoj Žižek on Noam Chomsky

“Russell’s books should be bound in two colors, those dealing with mathematical logic in red – and all students of philosophy should read them; those dealing with ethics and politics in blue – and no one should be allowed to read them.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein on Bertrand Russell

The hits just keep on coming at “The 30 Harshest Philosopher-on-Philosopher Insults in History” and “Philosophers’ Insults.”

Special bonuses:  Monty Python’s “Philosophers’ Football” and “Dead Philosophers in Heaven.”

* Epictetus

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As we live the examined life, we might send porcelain brithday greetings to Marcel Duchamp; he was born on this date in 1887.  A painter, sculptor, and conceptual artist, Duchamp was, with Picasso and Matisse, one the defining figures in the revolution that redefined the plastic arts in the early Twentieth Century– in Duchamp’s case, as an early Cubist (the star of the famous 1913 New York Armory Show), as the originator of ready-mades, and as a father of Dada.

In the 1930s, Duchamp turned from the production of art to his other great passion, chess.  He became a competitive player; then, as he reached the limits of his ability, a chess writer.  Duchamp’s   Samuel Beckett, an friend of Duchamp, used Duchamp’s thinking about chess strategy as the narrative device for the 1957 play of the same name, Endgame.  In 1968, Duchamp played an on-stage chess match with avant-garde composer, friend, and regular chess opponent John Cage, at a concert entitled Reunion, in which the music was produced by a series of photoelectric cells underneath the chessboard, triggered when pieces were moved in game play.

Duchamp (center; his wife Teeny, right) “performing” Reunion with John Cage (left) in 1968

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Written by LW

July 28, 2014 at 1:01 am

Stocking Stuffers for the Sagacious…

 

In the same spirit as the afore-featured Literary Action Figures, and just in time for the Holidays, The Unemployed Philosophers Guild (“The unexamined gift is not worth giving”) offers finger puppets of the world’s greatest philosophers, authors, artists, leaders, and thinkers…

Mark Twain

Immanuel Kant

Virginia Woolf

Mahatma Gandhi

Marie Curie

Louis Armstrong

Find these and 100 more, from Hannah Arendt and the Buddha to Ulysses S. Grant and Zora Neale Hurston, at The Unemployed Philosophers Guild.

[TotH to Brain Pickings]

 

As we muse on the money we’ll save on manicures, we might send poignantly amusing birthday wishes to Emmett Kelly, the best-known circus clown of the Twentieth Century; he was born on this date in 1898.

Kelly began his career under the big top in the early 1920s as a trapeze artist; but in 1931, he switched to clowning.  In a move that was revolutionary at the time, Kelly eschewed traditional white-face, darkening his face to become “Weary Willie,” a character based on the hobos of the time.  While he did do gags (famously, “opening” a peanut with a sledgehammer), his act was largely mimed sketches in which his bedraggled character is yet again out of luck.  (Perhaps his best-known bit derived from his regular appearance after other acts, sweeping up:  toward the end of the show he tries– and of course fails– to sweep up the pool of light cast by a spotlight.)

Kelly worked at a number of different circuses through the 20s and 30s until he settled, in 1942, at Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey.  He performed there (with a short break to play “Willie” in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth in 1952) until 1956, when he served a year as the mascot of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  He was an inaugural inductee into the International Clown Hall of Fame and into the International Circus Hall of Fame. And though he was born in Sedan, Kansas, Kelly was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians; a bronze bust depicting him is on permanent display in the rotunda of the Missouri State Capitol.

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Written by LW

December 9, 2011 at 1:01 am

Stop, Thief!…

A total of 23,748 bikes were reported stolen in London in its 2009-10 fiscal year– up 27.8 per cent from the previous year– though police believe that the true figure could be double that.  Kevin Scott, a 21 year-old designer, has an answer:  a new variety of folding bike…

Read the full story (and see more pix) at Daily Mail.  (Readers who value fine design, but have tastes that are less experimental, might check out the rides at Public Bikes.)

As we search our closets for those pedal-pushers, we might bake a dome-shaped birthday cake for inventor, educator, author, philosopher, engineer and architect R(ichard) Buckminster Fuller; he was born on this date in 1895.  “Bucky” most famously developed the geodesic dome, the only large dome that can be set directly on the ground as a complete structure, and the only practical kind of building that has no limiting dimensions (i.e., beyond which the structural strength must be insufficient); but he was sufficiently prolific to have held over 2000 patents.

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