## Friday, December 30, 2011

### Probability

Probability is ordinarily used to describe an attitude of mind towards some proposition of whose truth we are not certain. The proposition of interest is usually of the form "Will a specific event occur?" The attitude of mind is of the form "How certain are we that the event will occur?" The certainty we adopt can be described in terms of a numerical measure and this number, between 0 and 1, we call probability. The higher the probability of an event, the more certain we are that the event will occur. Thus, probability in an applied sense is a measure of the likeliness that a (random) event will occur.

The concept has been given an axiomatic mathematical derivation in probability theory, which is used widely in such areas of study as mathematics, statistics, finance, gambling, science, artificial intelligence/machine learning and philosophy to, for example, draw inferences about the likeliness of events. Probability is used to describe the underlying mechanics and regularities of complex systems.

## Wednesday, December 28, 2011

### The Philosopher

The Philosopher's Mind is like space; no one understands it. Watch things as they go their own way without interfering and without a word. True mastery is being in the right place at the right time. Soon people will look to you as the master. Circumstances complete the philosopher. The future is unique. Expression is unconscious, beautiful, and free. Take on your body and give yourself up and hold nothing back.

Insofar as we allow others to influence what we really want, we are inauthentic human beings living in bad faith.

We usually become this way through "trying to get along." We do not have the moral courage to "lead our own lives" and set up our own projects. Instead, we drift from thing to thing, being "controlled," so we think, by external circumstances.--Sartre

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## Friday, December 23, 2011

### Telos

A telos (from the Greek τέλοϛ for "end", "purpose", or "goal") is an end or purpose, in a fairly constrained sense used by philosophers such as Aristotle. It is the root of the term "teleology," roughly the study of purposiveness, or the study of objects with a view to their aims, purposes, or intentions. Teleology figures centrally in Aristotle's biology and in his theory of causes. It is central to nearly all philosophical theories of history, such as those of Hegel and Marx. One running debate in contemporary philosophy of biology is to what extent teleological language (as in the "purposes" of various organs or life-processes) is unavoidable, or is simply a shorthand for ideas that can ultimately be spelled out nonteleologically. Philosophy of action also makes essential use of teleological vocabulary: on Davidson's account, an action is just something an agent does with an intention--that is, looking forward to some end to be achieved by the action.

In contrast to telos, techne is the rational method involved in producing an object or accomplishing a goal or objective; however, the two methods are not mutually exclusive in principle.

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## Wednesday, December 21, 2011

### Siddhartha Guatama

The historic Buddha, the person Siddhartha Gautama, is considered by many as an emanation or illusion of the highest power (which is also called Buddha). Many believe there have been countless Buddhas on earth

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## Saturday, December 17, 2011

### Kami

"A kami is any thing or phenomenon that produces the emotions of fear and awe, with no distinction between good and evil."-Norinaga

## Thursday, December 15, 2011

### Do Not Procrastinate

Think of your many years of procrastination; how the gods have repeatedly granted you further periods of grace, of which you have taken no advantage. It is time now to realize the nature of the universe to which you belong, and of that controlling Power whose offspring you are; and to understand that your time has a limit set to it. Use it, then, to advance your enlightenment; or it will be gone, and never in your power again.

## Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PhilosophyTweet disagrees with some major points:
http://ow.ly/1C06gU

## Monday, December 12, 2011

### The Furies

"In front of this man slept a startling company of women lying all upon the chairs. Or not women, I think I call them rather gorgons, only not gorgons either, since their shape is not the same. I saw some creatures painted in a picture once, who tore the food from Phineus, only these had no wings, that could be seen; they are black and utterly repulsive, and they snore with breath that drives one back. From their eyes drips the foul ooze, and their dress is such as is not right to wear in the presence of the gods' statues, nor even into any human house. "
--The Eumenides, Aeschylus

## Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Philosophy Tweet does not charge for Tweets.

PhilosophyTweet will be sponsoring seminars and educational classes around the world.

Keep in mind Philosophy has a market.

Sponsored Tweets works with major corporations like MSN and FOX. Based on your followers and past performance, Sponsored Tweets recommends keeping the @PhilosophyTweet price at or below \$40.75 in order to still be listed by default to all advertisers.

I'm tweeting today from @SocialBarGrill in Tacoma. PhilosophyTweet loves the bread putting. :-)

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Location:Pacific Ave,Tacoma,United States

## Tuesday, December 6, 2011

### Paid Tweets

PhilosophyTweet is growing. Advertisers are interested in our growing followers but I think they underestimate wise people. Sponsored Tweets estimates PhilosophyTweet should charge \$40.69 a Tweet. Our staff believes it should be much higher because PhilosophyTweet followers are wiser and should be compensated for being distracted.

No one talks about the possibility that advertising is detrimental to society because it distracts people from achieving a higher human potential?

## Friday, December 2, 2011

### Dogma

Dogma is the established belief or doctrine held by a religion, or a particular group or organization. It is authoritative and not to be disputed, doubted, or diverged from, by the practitioners or believers.

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Location:World Way,Los Angeles,United States

## Saturday, November 26, 2011

### Cassandra

In Greek mythology, Cassandra (Greek Κασσάνδρα, also Κασάνδρα, Κεσάνδρα, Κατάνδρα, also known as Alexandra) was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. Her beauty caused Apollo to grant her the gift of prophecy. In an alternative version, she spent a night at Apollo's temple, at which time the temple snakes licked her ears clean so that she was able to hear the future (this is a recurring theme in Greek mythology, though sometimes it brings an ability to understand the language of animals rather than an ability to know the future). However, when she did not return his love, Apollo placed a curse on her so that no one would ever believe her predictions. She is a figure both of the epic tradition and of tragedy, where her combination of deep understanding and powerlessness exemplify the ironic condition of mankind.

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Location:Calle 10A,Pereira,Colombia

## Friday, November 25, 2011

### Free Will from Quiddities....

"The rightly but insufficiently maligned insanity plea, as a defense in criminal courts, is predicated on ill health of the offender's decison-making faculties. The theory would seem to be that healthy faculties make decisions spontaneously and hence with full responsibility, while diseased ones are the pawns of outside forces. It is a hard line to draw, and the more so when one appreciates that all our actions subtend causal chains from far away and long ago. The plea has no evident place in the rationale of punishment as we have been picturing it, and a persuasive justification of it is not easy to conceive."

## Saturday, October 15, 2011

### Who's Tweets are worth more than Gold?

The Pythian Oracle (Oracle of Delphi) reportedly answered the question of "who is the wisest man of Greece?" with "Socrates!" Socrates defends this verdict in his Apology to the effect that he, at least, knows that he knows nothing. As is evident in Plato's portrayals of Socrates, this does not mean Socrates' wisdom was the same as knowing nothing; but rather that his skepticism towards his own self-made constructions of knowledge left him free to receive true Wisdom as a spontaneous insight or inspiration. This contrasted with the attitude of contemporaneous Greek Sophists, who claimed to be wise and offered to teach wisdom for pay.

## Sunday, September 18, 2011

### Culture Jamming

Culture jamming is often seen as a form of subvertising. Many culture jams are intended to expose apparently questionable political assumptions behind commercial culture. Common tactics include re-figuring logos, fashion statements, and product images as a means to challenge the idea of "what's cool" along with assumptions about the personal freedoms of consumption.

## Wednesday, August 31, 2011

### Existentialism

Existentialism is the term applied to the work of a number of philosophers since the 19th century who, despite large differences in their positions, generally focused on the condition of human existence, and an individual's emotions, actions, responsibilities, and thoughts, or the meaning or purpose of life. Existential philosophers often focused more on what they believed was subjective, such as beliefs and religion, or human states, feelings, and emotions, such as freedom, pain, guilt, and regret, as opposed to analyzing objective knowledge, language, or science.

The early 19th century philosopher Søren Kierkegaard is regarded as the father of existentialism. He maintained that the individual is solely responsible for giving his or her own life meaning and for living that life passionately and sincerely, in spite of many existential obstacles and distractions including despair, angst, absurdity, alienation, and boredom.

Subsequent existentialist philosophers retain the emphasis on the individual, but differ, in varying degrees, on how one achieves and what constitutes a fulfilling life, what obstacles must be overcome, and what external and internal factors are involved, including the potential consequences of the existence or non-existence of God. Many existentialists have also regarded traditional systematic or academic philosophy, in both style and content, as too abstract and remote from concrete human experience. Existentialism became fashionable in the post-World War years as a way to reassert the importance of human individuality and freedom.
Existentialism is sometimes referred to as a continental philosophy, referring to the continental part of Europe, as opposed to that practiced in Britain at that time, which was called analytic philosophy, and mostly dealt with analyzing language.

## Sunday, August 28, 2011

### The State of Liesure

It goes without saying that leisure was also a prerequisite for the philosophical life, for the contemplation of the Good, and the study of nature, which the pre-Socratics began, and Aristotle and his school (the Lyceum) continued in the fourth century BCE.  Plato and Aristotle both founded schools in Athens attended by young men of means who could devote themselves to such pursuits free from material concerns.

Philosophers such as Plato (427-347 BCE) and his student, Aristotle (384-322 BCE), believed that leisure was necessary for the citizen to realize his excellence and his full humanity in service to the polis (the association, community, city-state such as Athens or Sparta).  They believe that the polis needs leisured citizens to exercise leadership, labourers being too degraded and distracted by their occupations to perform this role.   The discourses of these philosophers are largely directed to a leisured class of men who ‘rule and are ruled in turn’ (Pol. 1252a16-17).[2]

## Tuesday, July 26, 2011

### The Ways

To every man there openeth
A way and ways and a way;
And the high soul climbs the high way,
And the low soul gropes the low;
And in the misty flats
The rest drift to and fro;
But to every man openeth
A high way and a low;
And every man decideth
The way his soul shall go.
- John Oxenham

## Wednesday, July 6, 2011

### The illusion of the passage of time

The illusion of the passage of time arises from the confusing of the given with the real. Passage of time arises because we think of occupying different realities. In fact, we occupy only different givens. There is only one reality.-Godel

## Sunday, July 3, 2011

### Our Total Reality

Our total reality and total existence are beautiful and meaningful . . . . We should judge reality by the little which we truly know of it. Since that part which conceptually we know fully turns out to be so beautiful, the real world of which we know so little should also be beautiful. Life may be miserable for seventy years and happy for a million years: the short period of misery may even be necessary for the whole. -Godel

## Monday, June 27, 2011

### Probability

Probability is a way of expressing knowledge or belief that an event will occur or has occurred. The concept has an exact mathematical meaning in probability theory, which is used extensively in such areas of study as mathematics, statistics, finance, gambling, science, artificial intelligence/machine learning and philosophy to draw conclusions about the likelihood of potential events and the underlying mechanics of complex systems.

## Monday, June 20, 2011

### Modern Analytical Empiricism

"Modern analytical empiricism [...] differs from that of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume by its incorporation of mathematics and its development of a powerful logical technique. It is thus able, in regard to certain problems, to achieve definite answers, which have the quality of science rather than of philosophy. It has the advantage, as compared with the philosophies of the system-builders, of being able to tackle its problems one at a time, instead of having to invent at one stroke a block theory of the whole universe. Its methods, in this respect, resemble those of science. I have no doubt that, in so far as philosophical knowledge is possible, it is by such methods that it must be sought; I have also no doubt that, by these methods, many ancient problems are completely soluble."

### Legal Positivism

Legal positivism is a school of thought of philosophy of law and jurisprudence, largely developed by nineteenth-century legal thinkers like Jeremy Bentham and John Austin. The principal claims of modern legal positivism are that:

There is not any inherent or necessary association between the validity conditions of law and ethics or morality.

Laws are rules made, whether deliberately or unintentionally, by human beings.

### Positivism

Positivism, a philosophy which states that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, in opposition to pure empiricism and central to the foundation of academic sociology.

## Wednesday, June 15, 2011

### Individual Rights- Michael Sandel

"First, individual rights cannot be sacrificed for the sake of the general good, and second, the principles of justice that specify these rights cannot be premised on any particular vision of the good life. What justifies the rights is not that they maximize the general welfare or otherwise promote the good, but rather that they comprise a fair framework within which individuals and groups can choose their own values and ends, consistent with a similar liberty for others."
— Michael J. Sandel (Liberalism and Its Critics)

### The Philosophy Craze

Did you read this New York Times article by Thomas Friedman: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/15/opinion/15friedman.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha212

Should David Letterman be paid 700 times more than a school teacher?

## Tuesday, June 14, 2011

### Most People Lack Any Serious Set of Philosophical Beliefs

...Quite possibly many would like a 21st century Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs with an additional need at the apex: recreational drugs. The absence in much modern society of religious faith, patriotism or any serious set of philosophical beliefs leaves a vacuum that is often filled by sheer self-indulgence, escapism and nihilism – and frequently fuelled by drink and drugs.

http://t.co/ZeLlvEa

## Monday, June 13, 2011

### Legal Precedent and Kant's Categorical Imperative

In common law legal systems, a precedent or authority is a legal case establishing a principle or rule that a court or other judicial body may utilize when deciding subsequent cases with similar issues or facts. Black's Law Dictionary defines "precedent" as a "rule of law established for the first time by a court for a particular type of case and thereafter referred to in deciding similar cases."

The categorical imperative is the central philosophical concept in the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant, as well as modern deontological ethics. Introduced in Kant's Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, it may be defined as a way of evaluating motivations for action.

According to Kant, human beings occupy a special place in creation, and morality can be summed up in one ultimate commandment of reason, or imperative, from which all duties and obligations derive. He defined an imperative as any proposition that declares a certain action (or inaction) to be necessary.

"Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law."

## Sunday, June 5, 2011

### Ethical Dilemma

Ethical dilemma is a complex situation that will often involve an apparent mental conflict between moral imperatives, in which to obey one would result in transgressing another. This is also called an ethical paradox since in moral philosophy,

## Saturday, June 4, 2011

### Dating for Money?

I met a woman this week who has a boyfriend but goes out with other men because she has no money. How does everyone react to this? #Ethics

Sent Jun 04, 04:51 AM
From @PhilosophyTweet

## Monday, May 30, 2011

### Competition

Competition is a contest between individuals, groups, animals, etc. for territory, a niche, or a location of resources. It arises whenever two or more parties strive for a goal which cannot be shared. Competition occurs naturally between living organisms which co-exist in the same environment. For example, animals compete over water supplies, food, and mates, etc. Humans compete for water, food, and mates, though when these needs are met deep rivalries often arise over the pursuit of wealth, prestige, and fame. Business is often associated with competition as most companies are in competition with at least one other firm over the same group of customers.

## Thursday, May 26, 2011

### Eternalism (philosophy of time)

Eternalism (philosophy of time)

Eternalism is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time, which takes the view that all points in time are equally "real", as opposed to the presentist idea that only the present is real.[1] Modern advocates often take inspiration from the way time is modeled as a dimension in the theory of relativity, giving time a similar ontology to that of space (although the basic idea dates back at least to McTaggart's B-Theory of time, first published in The Unreality of Time in 1908, only 3 years after the first paper on relativity). This would mean that time is just another dimension, that future events are "already there", and that there is no objective flow of time. It is sometimes referred to as the "Block Time" or "Block Universe" theory due to its description of space-time as an unchanging four-dimensional "block",[2] as opposed to the view of the world as a three-dimensional space modulated by the passage of time.

### Time: Two Viewpoints

Two contrasting viewpoints on time divide many prominent philosophers. One view is that time is part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence. Sir Isaac Newton subscribed to this realist view, and hence it is sometimes referred to as Newtonian time.[3][4] Time travel, in this view, becomes a possibility as other "times" persist like frames of a film strip, spread out across the time line. The opposing view is that time does not refer to any kind of "container" that events and objects "move through", nor to any entity that "flows", but that it is instead part of a fundamental intellectual structure (together with space and number) within which humans sequence and compare events. This second view, in the tradition of Gottfried Leibniz[5] and Immanuel Kant,[6][7] holds that time is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable nor can it be travelled.

Temporal measurement has occupied scientists and technologists, and was a prime motivation in navigation and astronomy. Periodic events and periodic motion have long served as standards for units of time. Examples include the apparent motion of the sun across the sky, the phases of the moon, the swing of a pendulum, and the beat of a heart. Currently, the international unit of time, the second, is defined in terms of radiation emitted by caesium atoms (see below). Time is also of significant social importance, having economic value ("time is money") as well as personal value, due to an awareness of the limited time in each day and in human life spans.

## Wednesday, May 25, 2011

### The relationship between mind and body....

The question of the relationship between mind and body as posed by Descartes, Spinoza, and others remains a fundamental debate for philosophers. In Damasio’s Error and Descartes’ Truth, Andrew Gluck constructs a pluralistic response to the work of neurologist Antonio Damasio. Gluck critiques the neutral monistic assertions found in Descartes’ Error and Looking for Spinoza from a philosophical perspective, advocating an adaptive theory—physical monism in the natural sciences, dualism in the social sciences, and neutral monism in aesthetics.

## Saturday, May 21, 2011

### PhilosophyTweet is Free on Twitter

PhilosophyTweet is free to followers on Twitter.

The Oracle at @PhilospphyTweet:

The philosophers at PhilosophyTweet are advisers to the intelligent. Many of our clients and followers are high net worth individuals around the world.

PhilosophyTweet goes beyond saving time and money, guiding people to the rich experience of a happy life.

Our advice is prized because good decisions always make us better off. Wisdom is worth more than gold.

It is not uncommon for us to meet with a client 5-10 hours a month. They pay us out of a percentage of their assets at a rate of around \$300 an hour. This is the hourly figure we charge.

Telos:
For speaking engagements we charge \$20,000 per event. This is reasonable when you consider public figures are paid considerably more but have nothing of substance to say.

20 hour Seminars are limited to groups of 10 people at a rate of \$2000 per person.

You can reach us by direct message on Twitter by following @PhilosophyTweet.

## Friday, May 20, 2011

### What PhilosophyTweet is reading over the Weekend:

Hopes and Prospects, Noam Chomsky: http://amzn.to/mePJ4x

Ethics, Efficiency and the Markets, Allen Buchanan
http://amzn.to/lIFpvP

Staying ahead of the curve, Soros
http://amzn.to/jGLXKn

## Monday, May 16, 2011

Philosophers are clicking on ads on our blogs and buying books. We use the revenue to build the anti-library. We haven't been recommending books but this is what they are buying:

Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe
http://amzn.to/lGdjdj

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom
http://amzn.to/lxyuQX

During flow, people typically experience deep enjoyment, creativity, and a total involvement with life.-Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience
http://amzn.to/kfEOyE

An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding,by David Hume:
http://amzn.to/mJkhjC

## Friday, May 13, 2011

### Perfection

Whence it follows that God is absolutely perfect, since perfection is nothing but magnitude of positive reality, in the strict sense, setting aside the limits or bounds in things which are limited. -Liebniz

### What We Call God

This is why the ultimate reason of things must lie in a necessary substance, in which the differentiation of the changes only exists eminently as in their source; and this is what we call God. -Liebniz

## Sunday, April 24, 2011

### Eyes Cannot See Him...

Eye cannot see him, nor words reveal him;
by the senses, austerity, or works he is not known.
When the mind is cleansed by the grace of wisdom, he is seen by contemplation--the One without parts.

## Sunday, April 17, 2011

### The PhilosophyTweet Anti-Library

Taleb's The Black Swan: "Read books are far less valuable than unread ones." (He attributes the "anti-library" to Umberto Eco.

The writer Umberto Eco belongs to that small class of scholars who are encyclopedic, insightful, and non dull. He is the owner of a large personal library (containing thirty thousand books), and separates visitors into two categories: those who react with 'Wow! Signore professore dottore Eco, what a library you have! How many of these books have you read?' and the others - a very small minority - who get the point that a private library is not an ego-boosting appendage but a research tool. Read books are far less valuable than unread ones. The library should contain as much of what you do not know as your financial means, mortgage rates, and the currently tight read-estate market allows you to put there. You will accumulate more knowledge and more books as you grow older, and the growing number of unread books on the shelves will look at you menacingly. Indeed, the more you know, the larger the rows of unread books. Let us call this collection of unread books an antilibrary.

The Anti-Library is being constructed and will be available on the PhilosophyTweet Website. Please donate by hitting the donate button at the top of our blog.

## Sunday, April 10, 2011

### Correlates of The Law of Identity

The Principle of Excluded Middle, along with its complement, the Law of Contradiction, are correlates of the Law of Identity; the first principle of thought (reason). Because the principle of identity intellectually partitions the Universe into exactly two parts: ‘self’ and ‘other, it creates a dichotomy wherein the two parts are ‘mutually exclusive’ and ‘jointly exhaustive’. The principle of contradiction is merely an expression of the mutually exclusive aspect of that dichotomy, and the principle of excluded middle is an expression of its jointly exhaustive aspect.

### Ataraxia

Ataraxia was synonymous with the only true happiness possible for a person. It signifies the state of robust tranquility that derives from eschewing faith in an afterlife, not fearing the gods because they are distant and unconcerned with us, avoiding politics and vexatious people, surrounding oneself with trustworthy and affectionate friends and, most importantly, being an affectionate, virtuous person, worthy of trust.

## Tuesday, March 15, 2011

### Philistinism

Vladimir Nabokov associated with philistinism the prudish attitude of accusing works of art to be obscene, and described a philistine as a "full-grown person ... whose essential nature is anti-artistic," and whose mentality is formed of the stock ideas and conventional ideas of his or her group and time", adding that "generally speaking, philistinism presupposes a certain advanced state of civilization where throughout the ages certain traditions have accumulated in a heap and have started to stink".

Philistinism is a derogatory term used to describe a particular attitude or set of values. A person called a Philistine (in the relevant sense) is said to despise or undervalue art, beauty, intellectual content, or spiritual values. Philistines are also said to be materialistic, to favor conventional social values unthinkingly, and to favor forms of art that have a cheap and easy appeal (e.g. kitsch).

Goethe had several comments on the type. "The Philistine not only ignores all conditions of life which are not his own but also demands that the rest of mankind should fashion its mode of existence after his own", and "What is a philistine? A hollow gut, full of fear and hope that God will have mercy!"

Philistinism affords a contrast to Bohemianism, as the character of a smugly conventional bourgeois social group perceived to lack all the desirably soulful 'bohemian' characteristics, especially an artistic temperament and a broad cultural horizon open to the avant-garde. The 'Philistines' embodied a smug, anti-intellectual threatening majority, in the 'culture wars' of the 19th century.

## Wednesday, March 2, 2011

### Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson (May 25, 1803 – April 27, 1882) was an American lecturer, philosopher, essayist, and poet, best remembered for leading the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century. He was seen as a champion of individualism and a prescient critic of the countervailing pressures of society, and he disseminated his thoughts through dozens of published essays and more than 1,500 public lectures across the United States.

Emerson gradually moved away from the religious and social beliefs of his contemporaries, formulating and expressing the philosophy of Transcendentalism in his 1836 essay, Nature. Following this ground-breaking work, he gave a speech entitled The American Scholar in 1837, which Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. considered to be America's "Intellectual Declaration of Independence". Considered one of the great lecturers of the time, Emerson had an enthusiasm and respect for his audience that enraptured crowds.

Emerson wrote most of his important essays as lectures first, then revised them for print. His first two collections of essays – Essays: First Series and Essays: Second Series, published respectively in 1841 and 1844 – represent the core of his thinking, and include such well-known essays as Self-Reliance, The Over-Soul, Circles, The Poet and Experience. Together with Nature, these essays made the decade from the mid-1830s to the mid-1840s Emerson's most fertile period.

Emerson wrote on a number of subjects, never espousing fixed philosophical tenets, but developing certain ideas such as individuality, freedom, the ability for man to realize almost anything, and the relationship between the soul and the surrounding world. Emerson's "nature" was more philosophical than naturalistic; "Philosophically considered, the universe is composed of Nature and the Soul."

While his writing style can be seen as somewhat impenetrable, and was thought so even in his own time, Emerson's essays remain one of the linchpins of American thinking, and Emerson's work has influenced nearly every generation of thinker, writer and poet since his time. When asked to sum up his work, he said his central doctrine was "the infinitude of the private man."[

## Thursday, January 27, 2011

### Machiavelli

Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli (3 May 1469 – 21 June 1527) was an Italian philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science.[1] He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic. He also wrote comedies, carnival songs, poetry, and some of the most well-known personal correspondence in the Italian language. His position in the regime of Florence as Secretary to the Second Chancery of the Republic of Florence lasted from 1498 to 1512, the period in which the de' Medici were not in power. The period when most of his well-known writing was done was after this, when they recovered power, and Machiavelli was removed from all functions.

The Prince
Main article: The Prince

Lorenzo di Piero de' Medici to whom the final version of the Prince was dedicated.
Niccolò Machiavelli’s best-known book concentrates on the possibility of a "new prince", rather than the more traditional subject of a hereditary prince. To retain power, the hereditary prince must carefully maintain the socio-political institutions to which the people are accustomed; whereas a new prince has the more difficult task in ruling, since he must first stabilize his new-found power in order to build an enduring political structure. That requires the prince being concerned with reputation but also being willing to act immorally. As a political scientist, Machiavelli emphasises the occasional need for the methodical exercise of brute force, deceit, and so on.

Notwithstanding some mitigating themes, the Catholic Church proscribed The Prince, registering it to the Index Librorum Prohibitorum, and humanists also viewed the book negatively, among them, Erasmus of Rotterdam. As a treatise, its primary intellectual contribution to the history of political thought is the fundamental break between political Realism and political Idealism — thus, The Prince is a manual to acquiring and keeping political power. In contrast with Plato and Aristotle, Machiavelli insisted that an imaginary ideal society is not the model for a prince to orient himself by.

Concerning the differences and similarities in Machiavelli's advice to ruthless and tyrannical princes in The Prince and his more republican exhortations in Discourses on Livy, many have concluded that The Prince although written in the form of advice for a monarchical prince, contains arguments for the superiority of republican regimes, similar to those found in the Discourses. In the 18th century the work was even called a satire, for example by Jean-Jacques Rousseau. More recently, commentators such as Leo Strauss and Harvey Mansfield have agreed that the Prince can be read as having a deliberate comical irony. Other commentators have not seen the irony as deliberate comedy, but most commentators agree that the Prince is republican to some extent.

Antonio Gramsci argued that Machiavelli's audience for this work was not even the ruling class but the common people because the rulers already knew these methods through their education.

## Sunday, January 16, 2011

### Love

Love is the emotion of strong affection and personal attachment. In philosophical context, love is a virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion, and affection. In religious context, love is not just a virtue, but the basis for all being ("God is love"), and the foundation for all divine law (Golden Rule). Love may also be described as actions towards others (or oneself) based on compassion.[3] Or as actions towards others based on affection.

The word love can refer to a variety of different feelings, states, and attitudes, ranging from generic pleasure ("I loved that meal") to intense interpersonal attraction ("I love my partner"). "Love" can also refer specifically to the passionate desire and intimacy of romantic love, to the sexual love of eros (cf. Greek words for love), to the emotional closeness of familial love, or to the platonic love that defines friendship, to the profound oneness or devotion of religious love. This diversity of uses and meanings, combined with the complexity of the feelings involved, makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, even compared to other emotional states.

Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.