Art as the ultimate transcendental escape

Schopenhauer’s philosophy portrays human life as servitude to the Will, our desires and goals are governed by the blind urge and empirical observations of this striving only lead to pain and suffering. Aesthetic experience can provide some respite from the Will. For Schopenhauer the aim of the arts is to present the Platonic Ideas and…

Labour’s taxing for Nozick

On Monday the Labour party announced that there were going to tax 45p in every pound of people who earn £80,000 or more per year. It is their method for attempting to ‘save’ the NHS, you can read about it in an article from the Independent here . Although I could dedicate a whole post to…

Modernity, the Self, and the Modern Selfie

The condition of self-consciousness, of being reflectively aware of one’s identity and actions, has been a repeatedly documented aspect of human experience throughout history. Self-representation in the poetry of the Renaissance court, for example, or the aesthetic endeavours of eighteenth-century portraiture, certainly attest to this. However, as theorists of postmodernism argue, self-consciousness has never before…

Using my powers of deduction…or is it induction?

Mill’s methods of induction are a descriptive method for discovering causes, which means causation is described in observational terms. When following the methods you arrive at a conclusion when there is a universal relationship between antecedent and consequent. The Method of Agreement eliminates one possible cause because it is absent where the effect is not…

The death of God (and politics?)

The ‘death of God’ requires examination before we can really understand how it will impact our political landscape. If God and all that he stands for is dead, then the foundation of Christian values and all culture that sprung from the Christian religion is rendered meaningless. It goes beyond just claiming that God does not…

The Power of The Press

When reading a novel, we have to become immersed in another world. A new world filled with not just the characters who are most important to the plot, but we have to believe the protagonist is operating in a world that goes beyond the one in which we are presented. What I like about fiction…

Lars von Trier and Schopenhauer

  Melancholia (2011, UK certificate 15) is Lars von Trier 12th film in a career that spans 30 years, and is a 130 minute lesson in Schopenhauer and the art of beautiful filmmaking. It has a high profile cast including Alexander Skarsgard, Brady Corbet, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Kirsten Dunst, and…

Bridget Jones and the death of Feminism

I recently read Jessa Crispin’s “Why I am not a feminist: a feminist manifesto” – I enjoyed it and found myself nodding along on the train. It is persuasively written and is the perfect antidote to books that promote ‘feminists’ as a life style that can be bought at Urban Outfitters. The main thrust of…

What is Violence?

“Violence is a human universal,” (Abbink, 2000, xi) because we are yet to come across a society where violence is entirely non-existent. Despite violence’s pervasiveness, it remains one of the most difficult phenomenon to explain – what is violence and what it does are central and challenging, but necessary questions to ask. Violence is hard…

Judith Butler, RuPaul’s Drag Race and Feminism

  I watched the first episode of RuPaul’s drag race (it’s on Netflix if somehow this cultural phenomenon has passed you by), one of his aphorisms is “you’re born naked…the rest is drag” and this never fails to make me think of Judith Butler, so what follows is an account of gender performativity and how it…

Memory – what is it?

Remembering Mrs Dalloway I am currently reading Mrs Dalloway, and a theme that stands out for me is memory. “it was extraordinary how vividly it all came back to him, things he hadn’t thought of in years” (p.66) this is a line from Peter Walsh when he casts his mind back his younger days spent…