Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Vandana Shiva

"[How do I do it?] Well, it's always a mystery, because you don't know why you get depleted or recharged. But this much I know. I do not allow myself to be overcome by hopelessness, no matter how tough the situation. I believe that if you just do your little bit without thinking of the bigness of what you stand against, if you turn to the enlargement of your own capacities, just that itself creates new potential. And I've learned from the Bhagavad-Gita and other teachings of our culture to detach myself from the results of what I do, because those are not in my hands. The context is not in your control, but your commitment is yours to make, and you can make the deepest commitment with a total detachment about where it will take you. You want it to lead to a better world, and you shape your actions and take full responsibility for them, but then you have detachment. And that combination of deep passion and deep detachment allows me to take on the next challenge, because I don't cripple myself, I don't tie myself in knots. I function like a free being. I think getting that freedom is a social duty because I think we owe it to each not to burden each other with prescription and demands. I think what we owe each other is a celebration of life and to replace fear and hopelessness with fearlessness and joy."
— Vandana Shiva

The Golden Rule

Ancient Greek philosophy

The Golden Rule was a common principle in ancient Greek philosophy. Examples of the general concept include:

"Do not do to your neighbor what you would take ill from him." – Pittacus

"Avoid doing what you would blame others for doing." – Thales

"What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself either. " – Sextus the Pythagorean

"Do not do to others what would anger you if done to you by others." – Isocrates

"What thou avoidest suffering thyself seek not to impose on others." – Epictetus

"It is impossible to live a pleasant life without living wisely and well and justly (agreeing 'neither to harm nor be harmed', and it is impossible to live wisely and well and justly without living a pleasant life." – Epicurus

"One should never do wrong in return, nor mistreat any man, no matter how one has been mistreated by him." - Plato's Socrates

Monday, June 28, 2010

The Methods of Gaining Wisdom- Confucius

There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation, which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.

Twilight and Philosophy

The Editor of PhilosophyTweet has not read this book:  Bella and Edward, and their family and friends, have faced countless dangers and philosophical dilemmas in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight novels. This book is the first to explore them, drawing on the wisdom of philosophical heavyweights to answer essential questions such as: What do the struggles of "vegetarian" vampires who control their biological urge for human blood say about free will? Are vampires morally absolved if they kill only animals and not people? From a feminist perspective, is Edward a romantic hero or is he just a stalker? Is Jacob "better" for Bella than Edward?


Eternalism is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time. It builds on the standard method of modeling time as a dimension in physics, to give time a similar ontology to that of space. 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", as opposed to the view of the world as a three-dimensional space modulated by the passage of time.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Bertrand Russell said envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. It is a universal and most unfortunate aspect of human nature because not only is the envious person rendered unhappy by his envy, but also wishes to inflict misfortune on others. Although envy is generally seen as something negative, Russell also believed that envy was a driving force behind the movement towards democracy and must be endured in order to achieve a more just social system.

envy is the pain or frustration caused by another person having something that one does not have oneself. 

Kant defined envy as "a reluctance to see our own well-being overshadowed by another's because the standard we use to see how well off we are is not the intrinsic worth of our own well-being but how it compares with that of others" 

Envy is one of the Seven deadly sins of the Christian Church

In Islam, envy (Hassad in Arabic) can destroy one's good deeds. Therefore, one must be content with what God has given to them by saying Maashallah (God has willed it).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Lives of Eminent Philosophers

Pythagoras Quotes come from this book.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Enjoy your Time by improving yourself...

Employ your time in improving yourself by other men's writings, so that you shall gain easily what others have labored hard for. -Socrates 

It shouldn't be employ your time but, "Enjoy your Time by improving yourself..."

What is philosophy?

Philosophy does not spring forth for reasons of utility, but neither does it flourish out of caprice.  It is constitutionally necessary of the the intellect.  Why? Its purpose was to seek all things as such, to hunt the Unicorn, to capture the universe.  But why that eagerness? Why not be content without philosophizing, with what we find in the world, with what already is, what stands there clear before us?  For this simple reason:  all that there is, there in front of us, given to us present and clear, is in its very essence a mere piece, a bit, a fragment, the stump of something absent.  And we cannot see it without sensing and missing the part that is not there.    In every given being, every datum of the world, we find its essential fracture line, its character as a part and only a part; we see the scar of its ontological mutilation; its ache of the amputated cries out to us, its nostalgia for the bit that is lacking, its divine discontent.  Some years ago speaking in Buenos Aires, I defined discontent as "like loving without being loved, like a pain we feel in parts we do not have." It is the missing of what we are not, the recognizing of ourselves as crippled and incomplete. -Jose Ortega y Gasset

Monday, June 21, 2010

PhilosophyTweet T-Shirt

PhilosophyTweet T-Shirt will be used to fund The PhilosophyTweet Anti-Library.

The PhilosophyTweet T-Shirt will have "PhilosophyTweet" embroidered in the front and the Orange @Philosotini image (twitter.com/philosotini) on the back.  Please send your email address to: info@philosophytweet.com 

PhilosophyTweet will then send an invoice to you by email.

What is the Anti-Library?

The anti-library: A library of the books you haven't read, of the things you don't know. A massive collection of unknowledge, the anti-library contains all the books and maxims that may change your destiny.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Philosophy of Time

It has been said that people spend their time less wisely than their money.  Since most Americans are up to their eyeballs in debt this is a very painful truth.  Are you so obsessed with schedules and multitasking to save time that you no longer have time to reflect on where you are going?

Ten factors as accompanying an experience of flow:

Csíkszentmihályi identifies the following ten factors as accompanying an experience of flow:[3][4]
  1. Clear goals (expectations and rules are discernible and goals are attainable and align appropriately with one's skill set and abilities). Moreover, the challenge level and skill level should both be high.[5]
  2. Concentrating, a high degree of concentration on a limited field of attention (a person engaged in the activity will have the opportunity to focus and to delve deeply into it).
  3. loss of the feeling of self-consciousness, the merging of action and awareness.
  4. Distorted sense of time, one's subjective experience of time is altered.
  5. Direct and immediate feedback (successes and failures in the course of the activity are apparent, so that behavior can be adjusted as needed).
  6. Balance between ability level and challenge (the activity is neither too easy nor too difficult).
  7. A sense of personal control over the situation or activity.
  8. The activity is intrinsically rewarding, so there is an effortlessness of action.
  9. A lack of awareness of bodily needs (to the extent that one can reach a point of great hunger or fatigue without realizing it)
  10. People become absorbed in their activity, and focus of awareness is narrowed down to the activity itself, action awareness merging.
Not all are needed for flow to be experienced.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Samurai Philosophy

The philosophies of Buddhism and Zen, and to a lesser extent Confucianism and Shinto, influenced the samurai culture. Zen meditation became an important teaching due to it offering a process to calm one's mind. The Buddhist concept of reincarnation and rebirth led samurai to abandon torture and needless killing, while some samurai even gave up violence altogether and became Buddhist monks after realizing how fruitless their killings were. Some were killed as they came to terms with these realizations in the battlefield. The most defining role thatConfucianism played in samurai philosophy was to stress the importance of the lord-retainer relationship; this is, the loyalty that a samurai was required to show his lord.
Bushidō ("way of the warrior") was a term that began to appear in intellectual and nationalist discourse after the Japanese defeat of China in 1885 and of Russia in 1905 [11]Hagakure or "Hidden in Leaves" by Yamamoto Tsunetomo and Gorin no Sho or "Book of the Five Rings" by Miyamoto Musashi both written in the Tokugawa period (1603–1868)are theories often associated with Bushido and Zen philosophy.
The philosophies of Buddhism and Zen, and to a lesser extent Confucianism and Shinto, are attributed to the development of the samurai culture. "The notion that Zen is somehow related to Japanese culture in general,and bushido in particular, is familiar to Western students of Zen through the writings of D. T. Suzuki, no doubt the single most important figure in the spread of Zen in the West." [12]
In an account of Japan sent to Father Ignatius Loyola at Rome, drawn from the statements of Anger (Han-Siro's western name), Xavier describes the importance of honor to the Japanese (Letter preserved at College of Coimbra.):
"In the first place, the nation with which we have had to do here surpasses in goodness any of the nations lately discovered. I really think that among barbarous nations there can be none that has more natural goodness than the Japanese. They are of a kindly disposition, not at all given to cheating, wonderfully desirous of honour and rank. Honour with them is placed above everything else. There are a great many poor among them, but poverty is not a disgrace to any one. There is one thing among them of which I hardly know whether it is practised anywhere among Christians. The nobles, however poor they may be, receive the same honour from the rest as if they were rich".[13]

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Parmenides of Elea

Parmenides of Elea (GreekΠαρμενίδης ὁ Ἐλεάτης; fl. early 5th century BCE) was an ancient Greek philosopher born in Elea, a Greek city on the southern coast of Italy. He was the founder of the Eleatic school of philosophy. The single known work of Parmenides is a poem which has survived only in fragmentary form. In this poem, Parmenides describes two views of reality. In The Way of Truth (a part of the poem), he explains how reality is one, change is impossible, and existence is timeless, uniform, and unchanging. In The Way of Opinion, he explains the world of appearances, which is false and deceitful. These thoughts strongly influenced Plato, and through him, the whole of Western philosophy.

Thinking and the thought that it is are the same; for you will not find thought apart from what is, in relation to which it is uttered. (B 8.34-36)
For thought and being are the same. (B 3)
It is necessary to speak and to think what is; for being is, but nothing is not. (B 6.1-2)
Helplessness guides the wandering thought in their breasts; they are carried along deaf and blind alike, dazed, beasts without judgment, convinced that to be and not to be are the same and not the same, and that the road of all things is a backward-turning one. (B 6.5-9)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Frank Knight- The Capitalist system is not Ethically Defensible

Knight was an avid proponent of a cosmopolitan laissez-faire – but he did so on unique, "non-consequentialist" grounds. As is evident in his famous Ethics of Competition (1923) and in other works on ethics throughout his life, Knight does not regard the capitalist system as ethically defensible. Capitalism, he claims, does not produce what people want but merely creates the wants for what it produces – "the freest individual. ..is in large measure a product of the economic environment that has formed his desires and needs, given him whatever marketable productive capacities he has, and which largely controls his opportunities." (Knight, 1923). Furthermore, he argued that there was a tendency in market systems towards monopoly, that the "efficiency" of markets was misleading for there was no sense of "usefulness" of its output to society, that the marginal productivity thesis had erroneous ethical implications as "the income does not go to "factors" but to their owners. ..and ownership of personal or material productive capacity is based upon a complex mixture of inheritance, luck and effort, probably in that order of relative importance" (Knight, 1923).

Monday, June 14, 2010


Relativism-conceptions of truth and moral values are not absolute but are relative to the persons or groups holding them.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Philosophy Tweet

Philosophy Tweet is dedicated to the promotion and discussion of Philosophy.