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Autumn Herbert James Draper (1863-1920)

Autumn Herbert James Draper (1863-1920)

(Source: alinnetinagildedcage, via detailsdetales)

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literaryafflictions said: Having recently discovered this lovely little philosophy blog of yours, I have to inquire if you've read any heavily philosophical literature such as Dostoevsky or Borges, Kafka or Camus? I spent the last years of my degree mixing the two subjects extensively in essays, much to the dismay of people who insisted I do no such thing.

I have! I wrote my undergraduate thesis on Camus and have lectured on his work a few times. I love Dostoevsky and Kafka, and this summer I guided kids 12-16 through readings of “The Hunger Artist,” selections from Brothers Karamazov, and other existential works like Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Sartre’s No Exit and The Flies, and an excerpt from Pirandello’s One, No One, and One Hundred Thousand. 

Literature and philosophy go hand-in-hand, in my opinion. :]

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"To become imperceptible to oneself, to have dismantled love in order to become capable of loving. To have dismantled one’s self in order finally to be alone and meet the true double at the other end of the line. A clandestine passenger on a motionless voyage. To become like everybody else; but this, precisely, is a becoming only for one who knows how to be nobody, to no longer be anybody. To pain oneself gray on gray."

— Gilles Deleuze, Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

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"Language is not made to be believed but to be obeyed, and to compel obedience newspapers, news, proceed by redundancy, in that they tell us what we ‘must’ think, retain, expect, etc. language is neither informational nor communicational. It is not the communication of information but something quite different: the transmission of order-words, either from one statement to another or within each statement, insofar as each statement accomplished an act and that act is accomplished in the statement."

— Gilles Deleuze, Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

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Martin Ålund (Swedish, b. 1967), Chemistry 1 : 9, 2013. Oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm.

Martin Ålund (Swedish, b. 1967), Chemistry 1 : 9, 2013. Oil on canvas, 80 x 100 cm.

(Source: blastedheath, via portionsofeternity)

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"The fundamental problem of political philosophy is still precisely the one that Spinoza saw so clearly (and that Wilhelm Reich rediscovered): Why do men fight for their servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation?"

— Gilles Deleuze 

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"It is not the slumber of reason that engenders monsters, but vigilant and insomniac rationality."

— Gilles Deleuze, Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

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"A concept is a brick. It can be used to build a courthouse of reason. Or it can be thrown through the window."

— Gilles Deleuze, Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia

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ibecamethedrought said: Hey, I was wondering: could you explain Plato's Cave to me? Thing is I have come across multiple versions of his work and felt rather out of it. If it's not possible, no hard feelings. I hope all is well.

The Allegory of the Cave is an exploration of true knowledge — what is it? do we have it? how can we get it? what happens when we do? 

Threaded within Plato’s allegory is his so-called Theory of Forms: the idea that the world that we experience every day (the phenomenal world) is not ultimately “real;” it is merely a reflection of a even more true, good, and real “reality” — the world of the Forms. Thus, true, perfect knowledge is impossible to attain within this phenomenal world, because all of our experiences are of imperfect things. Only once we contemplate the Forms can we attempt to reach actual knowledge.

The people in the cave, who are chained down and only able to watch shadows flicker on the wall are the most ignorant — they don’t even get to see the objects that  correspond to those shadows, and they think that those shadows (which are twice-removed from reality) are the true reality. When the man realizes that the shadows are caused by actual physical objects, he takes a step closer to true knowledge by contemplating the phenomenal world of objects. But when he leaves the cave altogether and sees the Sun — representing the world of the Forms — he reaches something very close to perfect knowledge. The Sun represents the Forms because it is the only way by which we can even see the phenomenal world; without the Sun, everything would be dark and we could never have knowledge of things. (Not entirely true, but whatever.) According to Plato, any knowledge we possess of the phenomenal world is actually drawing upon our latent, inborn knowledge of the Forms, which we have forgotten (Plato believed that the soul was immortal, and that any act of “learning” in one life is merely a remembering from a past life). 

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave also suggests that not everyone will reach true knowledge — only a few will succeed, and they will be despised by the ignorant masses, who will refuse to the leave the cave and would even kill those who attempt to drag them out to see the Sun. It’s tough being a philosopher smarty-pants. 

So that’s my half-assed and incomplete explanation of whats going on in the Allegory of the Cave. Hope it helped a little bit!

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Vincent van Gogh, Lane of Poplars at Sunset, 1884

Vincent van Gogh, Lane of Poplars at Sunset, 1884

(Source: the-night-picture-collector, via fiveoclockbot)

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"Men so far have treated women like birds who had strayed to them from some height: as something more refined and vulnerable, wilder, stranger, sweeter, and more soulful - but as something one has to lock up lest it fly away."

— Friedrich Nietzsche - Beyond Good and Evil

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Phèdre by Alexandre Cabanel, 1880 (detail)

Phèdre by Alexandre Cabanel, 1880 (detail)

(Source: sollertias, via portionsofeternity)

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"Your successes and happiness are forgiven you only if you generously consent to share them. But to be happy it is essential not to be too concerned with others. Consequently, there is no escape. Happy and judged, or absolved and wretched."

— Albert Camus, The Fall

(Source: acknowledgetheabsurd)

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"Dreams - We have no dreams at all or interesting ones. We should learn to be awake the same way - not at all or in an interesting manner."

— Friedrich Nietzsche - The Gay Science

Tags: nietzsche
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"What is it, fundamentally, that allows us to recognize who has turned out well?
That a well-turned-out person pleases our senses, that he is carved from wood that is hard, delicate, and at the same time smells good.
He has a taste only for what is good for him; his pleasure, his delight cease where the measure of what is good for him is transgressed.
He guesses what remedies avail against what is harmful; he exploits bad accidents to his advantage; what does not kill him makes him stronger.
Instinctively, he collects from everything he sees, hears, lives through, his sum: he is a principle of selection, he discards much.
He is always in his own company, whether he associates with books, human beings, or landscapes: he honors by choosing, by admitting, by trusting.
He reacts slowly to all kinds of stimuli, with that slowness which long caution and deliberate pride have bred in him: he examines the stimulus that approaches him, he is far from meeting it halfway.
He believes neither in “misfortune” nor in “guilt” : he comes to terms with himself, with others; he knows how to forget - he is strong enough; hence everything must turn out for his best."

— Friedrich Nietzsche- Ecce Homo

Tags: nietzsche