Speaking Freely

Emerson was really onto something when he spoke about the high freedom of great conversation. I’ve been thinking about two more aspects of such freedom. First, great conversation requires great spontaneity. Although when conversing we might have a deep goal of sharing and discovery, our conversation doesn’t have an agenda or a script and weContinue reading “Speaking Freely”

Philosophy and Money

Some great thinkers – Plato, Aristotle, Gautama Siddhartha, Epicurus, Thoreau, Rand, and many more – have reflected deeply on the place of money and wealth in human life. The reasons are not hard to find: In many ways we are a grasping, materialistic, status-driven species. It’s all too easy to have an unhealthy relationship (asContinue reading “Philosophy and Money”

Justifying Anger

In my last post, I extrapolated from the philosophy of Epicurus to indicate how to avoid unjustified anger and its less virulent siblings (annoyance, frustration, disappointment, etc.). Indeed, Epicurus seems to have been the first person to identify what centuries later became the seven deadly sins – one of which was anger. Aristotle, by contrast,Continue reading “Justifying Anger”

Philosophy and Anger

The world is full of anger, both well-founded and ill-founded. In a future post I’ll talk about well-founded anger, but this time I’ll provide some reflections on ill-founded anger. In Chapter 10 of my book Letters on Happiness, I perceived an insight from Epicurus into the nature of anger (although this is an extrapolation from whatContinue reading “Philosophy and Anger”