Aristotle on Human Fulfillment

The more deeply I ponder Aristotle’s conception of eudaimonia (usually translated as “happiness” or more recently sometimes as “flourishing”), the more radical it seems. For instance, we are perfectly comfortable saying things like “that basil plant is much happier since we moved it to the windowsill” or “their daughter is really flourishing in her newContinue reading “Aristotle on Human Fulfillment”

The Determinist Fantasy

Determinism – the belief that all events (including animal behavior and human actions) are fixed or ordained before they happen by antecedent conditions or external forces – doesn’t keep me up at night, but it seems to be something of a bogeyman for many people. To my mind, it’s a fantastical notion. Here’s how IContinue reading “The Determinist Fantasy”

Philosophy and Grief

Grieving is one of the characteristic activities of human beings. Although it seems that some other species (e.g., members of the corvid family) experience sorrow, grief is a more complex phenomenon. Recently I had occasion to read a fine book on the topic by Michael Cholbi, entitled Grief: A Philosophical Guide. Here are the essentials ofContinue reading “Philosophy and Grief”

Intellectual Jousting

In my recent post on intelligence vs. wisdom, I used the phrase “intellectual jousting” to describe the modern practice of doing philosophy. Here’s a bit of psychological speculation about how that activity comes to be valued. Let’s say you were the smartest kid in your elementary school class. It feels great to be lauded byContinue reading “Intellectual Jousting”