Walking Far Enough To Find Our Way Back To Ourselves

In ‘Running Through Fear,’ an extended excerpt from her memoir Running Home, ultra-marathoner Katie Arnold writes of the aftermath of an assault she suffered while out on the trail: Afterward, in the disorienting fog of sorrow, everything scared me: my babies, so small and vulnerable and precious; my own body, once so strong but nowContinue reading “Walking Far Enough To Find Our Way Back To Ourselves”

Philosophy As ‘Ways Of Seeing Things’

In Confessions of a Philosopher (Random House, 1997, pp. 399-400) Bryan Magee writes: [T]he most important things great philosophers have to give us are to be got at not by analysing the logic of their arguments or their use of concepts but by looking at reality in the light of what it is saying….”Is reality illuminated forContinue reading “Philosophy As ‘Ways Of Seeing Things’”

Virginia Woolf On Autobiography And Not Writing ‘Directly About The Soul’

In Inspiration and Obsession in Life and Literature, (New York Review of Books, 13 August, 2015), Joyce Carol Oates writes: [Virginia] Woolf suggests the power of a different sort of inspiration, the sheerly autobiographical—the work created out of intimacy with one’s own life and experience….What is required, beyond memory, is a perspective on one’s ownContinue reading “Virginia Woolf On Autobiography And Not Writing ‘Directly About The Soul’”

The Self As Prison

In his review of Charles Simic‘s The Lunatic: Poems and The Life of Images: Selected Prose Phillip Lopate makes note of Simic’s “cultivation of awe,” his “opening himself to chance, that favorite tactic of Surrealists” and makes note of this pronouncement: Others pray to God; I pray to chance to show me the way out ofContinue reading “The Self As Prison”

Fearing Tenure: The Loss Of Community

In ‘The Clouded Prism: Minority Critique of the Critical Legal Studies Movement‘, Harlan L. Dalton wrote: I take it that everyone drawn to CLS is interested in specifying in concrete terms the dichotomy between autonomy and community. If so, talk to us. Talk TO us. Listen to us. We have lots to say, out ofContinue reading “Fearing Tenure: The Loss Of Community”

Of Therapy And Personal And Academic Anxieties

Reading some of the discussion sparked by Peter Railton’s Dewey Lecture has prompted me to write this post. In the fall of 1996, I began studying for my Ph.D qualifier exams. I had worked full-time at a non-academic job for the previous year, saving up some money so that I could take a month orContinue reading “Of Therapy And Personal And Academic Anxieties”

A Stutterer and His Cure

In the seventh grade, at the age of eleven, I began to stutter. It began without apparent reason; all too suddenly, I found myself tripping over consonants and unable to begin speaking words that began with vowels. When asked to speak up in class, I found I needed a visible act of physical exertion toContinue reading “A Stutterer and His Cure”

Don’t Tell Me What You Think of Me

Over at the Anxiety blog at The New York Times Tim Kreider gives voice to a common fear, that of finding out what other people really, really think of us: I’ve often thought that the single most devastating cyberattack a diabolical and anarchic mind could design would not be on the military or financial sectorContinue reading “Don’t Tell Me What You Think of Me”

Boethius’ Philosophy as Therapist

Here is a common way to think about the psychotherapeutic experience: the therapist helps the patient construct an alternative narrative of his or her life. Why is this therapeutic? The patient has offered the therapist a recounting–via a series of archaeological, genealogical forays into his past–of his life’s events, and describes how these have contributedContinue reading “Boethius’ Philosophy as Therapist”