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Philosophy, Writing and Wayward Curiosities from Will Buckingham

Some notes on Plato, divination and madness

Some notes on Plato, divination and madness

For Plato, divination is always tied up with madness — but that it is not to diminish it. Instead, as far as Plato is concerned, divination may be a necessary madness. This is what Plato writes in Timaeus (71e): The claim that god gave divination as …

The Secret of Creativity Is Not Suffering, It Is Pleasure

The Secret of Creativity Is Not Suffering, It Is Pleasure

Three rules for the creative life: avoid suffering, embrace difficulty, seek out pleasure

Gautama Buddha and the Turn Toward Experience

Gautama Buddha and the Turn Toward Experience

The Buddha was a wandering renunciant in Ancient India who kick-started a two and a half thousand-year-old religious and philosophical tradition. But who was he?

Thirty-six kinds of divination to try at home

Thirty-six kinds of divination to try at home

Human attempts to read, interpret and over-interpret the world are fascinatingly diverse. This is a list of some divination methods, culled from here and there. Wikipedia has a much more comprehensive list, but these are my favourites. If you happen …

“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Love, trust and the future (Love #6)

“Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?” Love, trust and the future (Love #6)

What does it mean to say "I love you"? And how do these three little words change our sense of ourselves, our commitments, and our future?

Living the Life of a Dog with Diogenes the Cynic

Living the Life of a Dog with Diogenes the Cynic

Diogenes was the original drop-out philosopher. A fierce critic of the hypocrisy of society, he chose instead to live in accord with nature.

Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong? Love, transcendence and madness (Love #5)

Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong? Love, transcendence and madness (Love #5)

Does love lift us up where we belong? Or is it a kind of madness? In this week's class, we plunge into Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus to find out.

7 Ways of Reading Philosophy: #2 Reading haphazardly

7 Ways of Reading Philosophy: #2 Reading haphazardly

When reading philosophy, it's easy to feel under the obligation to read systematically. But why not give up on feelings of obligation, and read haphazardly?

You Sexy Thing: Getting philosophical about sex (Love #4)

You Sexy Thing: Getting philosophical about sex (Love #4)

In this week's class, we are getting philosophical about desire, and asking questions about the philosophy of sex. Happy reading!

7 Ways of Reading Philosophy: #1 Reading Like Napoleon

7 Ways of Reading Philosophy: #1 Reading Like Napoleon

Often the advice is that we should read philosophy slowly and carefully. But there's a lot to be said for reading at a gallop.

Finding Our Way With Laozi

Finding Our Way With Laozi

The legendary Chinese philosopher Laozi is associated with the long tradition of Daoism (or Taoism). But his work is famously elliptical and difficult.

Something So Right: Love and Justice (Love #3)

Something So Right: Love and Justice (Love #3)

What are the limits of human love? Can we love everyone? Or should we only focus on those closest to us? And what happens when our personal loves and commitments come into contact with impersonal questions of justice?