Archive for November, 2015

SENECA: On Providence

Posted: November 30, 2015 by vequinox in Literature

The Great Conversation

If an all-good, all-knowing, and all-powerful God exists, why does evil and suffering befall good men? This question has perplexed theologians and philosophers for centuries. Many have tried to solve this problem. Of the numerous proposed solutions, the Latin philosopher, Seneca, provides one of the best. He simply asserts that no evil ever befalls good men. In this video, we will discuss Seneca’s short essay titled, On Providence, in which he explains his unique solution to the problem of evil.

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PLATO: The Republic [Book III]

Posted: November 30, 2015 by vequinox in Literature

The Great Conversation

In Book III of Plato’s Republic, Socrates continues his discussion of poetry. He asserts that poetry ought to dispel the fear of death, not encourage it. For example, he criticizes Homer’s portrayal of Achilles in the underworld. In Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus meets Achilles in the underworld. Achilles tells Odysseus that he “would rather be a serf on the land of a poor man than rule over all the dead.” Socrates argues that this type of attitude will cultivate a fear of death in the minds of young men who read Homer’s Odyssey. This development of cowardice is contrary to Socrates’ goal of training men to “choose death in battle rather than defeat and slavery.”

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Alan W. Watts.

Posted: November 30, 2015 by vequinox in Literature

To Koskino

raven

Ποιος είπε ότι ο ψίθυρος είναι ψίθυρος;

Σ’ αυτή την άγρια ερημιά
σήμερα
παντού
ο ψίθυρος δεν είναι ψίθυρος

είναι το νερό
η ορμή του ποταμού
το υπόγειο ρεύμα

και η δίψα
η δίψα
η δίψα.

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images

Quotes by Albert Camus//Γνωμικά του Αλμπέρτου Καμύ

“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill oneself.”

“The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free that your very existence is an act of rebellion.”

“When I look at my life and its secret colours, I feel like bursting into tears.”

“Real generosity towards the future lies in giving all to the present.”

“Blessed are the hearts that can bend; they shall never be broken.”

“An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. “Can they be brought together?” This is a practical question. We must get down to it. “I despise intelligence” really means: “I cannot bear my doubts.”

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”

“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.”
~Τελικά χρειάζεσαι πιο πολύ θάρρος να ζήσεις παρά ν’ αυτοκτονήσεις

~Ο μόνος τρόπος ν’ αντιμετωπίσεις έναν ανελεύθερο κόσμο είναι να νιώσεις τόσο ελεύθερος που η κάθε σου πράξη να `ναι μια πράξη εξέγερσης

~Όταν παρατηρώ τη ζωή μου και τα κρυφά της χρώματα, νιώθω την ανάγκη να κλάψω

~Πραγματική μελλοντική γεναιοδωρία είναι να τα δίνεις όλα στο παρόν

~Ευλογημένες οι καρδιές που λυγίζουν γιατί ποτέ δεν θα σπάσουν

~Διανοούμενος; Ναι και μην το αρνηθείς ποτέ. Διανοούμενος είναι αυτός που το μυαλό του προσέχει τον εαυτό του. Κι αυτό μ’ αρέσει γιατί προτιμώ να `μαι δύο μισά, ο παρατηρηρτής κι ο παρατηρούμενος. ‘Μπορούν άραγε να ταυτιστούν;’ Αυτή είναι πρακτική ερώτηση. Ας την εξετάσουμε. ‘Απεχθάνομαι την ευφυία’ στην πραγματικότητα σημαίνει ‘δεν μπορώ να υπομένω τις αμφιβολίες μου’

~Το φθινόπωρο είναι μια δεύτερη άνοιξη όταν το κάθε φύλλο είναι κι ένα λουλούδι

~Να νιώσεις ευτυχής σημαίνει ν’ αδιαφορείς για τους άλλους
~ Μετάφραση στα ελληνικά ΜΑΝΩΛΗ ΑΛΥΓΙΖΑΚΗ / translation by MANOLIS ALIGIZAKIS

Albert Camus (1913—1960)

Albert Camus was a French-Algerian journalist, playwright, novelist, writer of philosophical essays, and Nobel laureate. Though neither by advanced training nor profession a philosopher, Camus nevertheless through his literary works and in numerous reviews, articles, essays, and speeches made important, forceful contributions to a wide range of issues in moral philosophy – from terrorism and political violence to suicide and the death penalty. In awarding him its prize for literature in 1957, the Nobel committee cited the author’s persistent efforts to “illuminate the problem of the human conscience in our time,” and it is pre-eminently as a writer of conscience and as a champion of imaginative literature as a vehicle of philosophical insight and moral truth that Camus was honored by his own generation and is still admired today. He was at the height of his career, at work on an autobiographical novel, planning new projects for theatre, film, and television, and still seeking a solution to the lacerating political turmoil in his native Algeria, when he died tragically in an automobile accident in January, 1960.

PLATO: The Republic [Book V]

Posted: November 28, 2015 by vequinox in Literature

The Great Conversation

In Book V of Plato’s Republic, Socrates asserts that men and women ought to receive the same education and ought to fulfill the same roles within society. In the context of Ancient Greece, where women are prohibited from receiving an education and participating in business and politics, this is a radical notion. Socrates admits that men and women have different natures, and that different natures ought to have different pursuits. Nevertheless, he concludes that the difference between men and women – primarily physical strength – does not restrict women from participating in society as guardians, laborers, or even soldiers. Furthermore, it is in the best interest of the State for both the men and the women to be as good as possible; and therefore, both the men and the women must be educated.

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Gustave Le Bon: The Crowd

Posted: November 28, 2015 by vequinox in Literature

The Great Conversation

In his 1895 treatise titled, Psychology of Crowds, the French sociologist Gustave Le Bon asserts, “An individual in a crowd is a grain of sand amid other grains of sand, which the wind stirs up at will.” Crowd psychology is a relatively new science, and Le Bon is one of its first scholars. In this video, we will discuss Le Bon’s thoughts regarding crowd psychology, and we will also interpret a few modern mass movements through the lens of Le Bon’s work.

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Fredric Jameson: Third-World Literature

Posted: November 28, 2015 by vequinox in Literature