My essay in Psyche Magazine on the intimate linkage of anxiety and philosophical inquiry is online today.
There are two ways in which philosophy can help us with anxiety: a specific doctrine may offer us a prescription for how to rid ourselves of anxiety; and philosophical method—self-introspection and reflective thinking—may help us understand our anxiety better. While fear and worry (and their resultant stresses) are grounded in specific objects and circumstances, ‘anxiety’Continue reading “On Not Being Anxious About Anxiety”
In the summer of 1992, I had begun to consider the possibility of returning to graduate school–this time for a new program in study in an unfamiliar field: philosophy. I had no previous academic exposure to philosophy so I would have to begin at the ‘bottom’: by taking classes as a non-matriculate student, and thenContinue reading “John David Mabbott And Two Influential Paragraphs”
Teaching a new entrant on a class reading list is always a fraught business. It is especially so when the entrant is a well-established member of analogous canons and you have come late to the game. You are dimly aware you’ve ‘neglected a classic,’ and thus rendered your education–in several dimensions–incomplete; you are well awareContinue reading “The Shock Of The New (Entry On A Class Reading List)”
This fall semester, I will teach three classes; all feature literary components. They are: ‘Political Philosophy,’ ‘Philosophical Issues in Literature,’ and ‘Existentialism.’ The following are their course descriptions: Political Philosophy: Shakespeare and Political Theory In this class, we will read Shakespeare’s famous ‘history plays’—Richard II, Henry IV, Parts I & II, Henry V–as political theoryContinue reading “A Literary Semester To Look Forward To”
During my first semester of teaching philosophy, in my class on Hobbes and social contract theory, I introduced my students to the usual excerpts from Leviathan: the passages in which Hobbes describes the severely attenuated and impoverished life that awaits those who live in a state of nature, how this creates the need for a sovereign maintainerContinue reading “Lessons From A Skeptic About Hobbes”
An acute application of gynaecology to international relations, conjuring up visions of revolutionaries being led gently through birthing procedures is on display–again and again, and quite possibly, again–in Tom Friedman’s latest column in the New York Times. Apparently, the Middle East–especially Syria– is pregnant with possibility, fertile with newly planted seeds of political change. ItContinue reading “Why Not A Syrian Mandelian Midwife, Mr. Friedman?”