Political Thought(s)

Political Thought(s)

What poetry is to language, philosophy is to thought, a craft that brings new concepts and ways of thinking into the scholarly disciplines.

Two Thoughts for 2019

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash Every old man thinks the world was a better place when they were young. The colors were brighter, the smiles were warmer and every child had a village growing it to perfection. Sometimes the old man is right; the colors were indeed brighter and the smiles were truly warmer,…

Terrestrial Science

Terrestrial Science

We make a mistake in thinking state socialism is the challenger to capitalism as the most important system of terrestrial knowledge. Instead, the real challenge comes from ecology, not from economy. The mania for growth built into capitalism isn't compatible with the steady state nature of ecological systems as a whole.

Smelly Science

Photographer: Tadeusz Lakota | Source: UnsplashPhilosophy has a vision bias. The Sanskrit name for philosophical activity, ‘Darsana’ means ‘vision.’ Intriguingly, across Indo-European cultures, knowledge at a distance is closely related to blindness. Homer was supposedly blind and the great war in the Mahabharata was relayed to a blind king by an assistant given divine vision for…

The Skin of the World

Photographer: David Clode | Source: Unsplash I am taking a step back from writing about contentious topics — authoritarian politics, climate change, approaching extinction and animal rights. Not for ever, but for a few weeks. It feels like every conversation about those topics increases the fear and anxiety of everyone in the room and tilts the scales in…

Navigating Higher Education

Note: this is the first post in a series that looks at how higher education needs to change in response to the wicked problems we face in the 21st century. Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash I think a lot about my daughter’s prospects. Her generation will inherit some of the greatest challenges that humanity has ever…

Many Mes

Photographer: Andrew Seaman | Source: Unsplash MeMe and YouMe The Buddha, peace be unto him, is famous for declaring there’s no self. Strictly speaking, he denied the existence of an abiding, permanent self, especially the metaphysical Atman of Brahmanical Hinduism. We are born, we grow into adulthood and then we pass away. Some think we restart that…

Subversive Intelligence

Photographer: James Lee | Source: Unsplash If you read or watch any mainstream media source that deals with facts instead of imaginary threats, you will notice the constant invocation of two civilizational threats: automation and climate change. This is mainstream media btw, not leftie radical sources; you know we are in a genuine crisis when hunks…

The Great Unsettling

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jayjayrobertson/5724336908 Introduction I have written a few hundred essays over the last five years, with a year and a half in the middle being devoted to a single text, the Mahabharata. I might start the Jayary again this fall, prompted by a seminar I am organizing this semester. The Mahabharata is unique in that it…