Berfrois

Our Purpose Is Preservation

Our Purpose Is Preservation

Twenty years ago a prophetic Onion article reported that the Dinty Moore soup company took a firm stand against terrorism in the aftermath of 9/11. Today this is no longer satire...

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Berlin and the Volcanoes of Theory by Stuart Walton

Berlin and the Volcanoes of Theory by Stuart Walton

The principal shift in the transition from German to French theory is the abandonment of any ethical duty to the biggest picture of all, that of society...

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Certainly Certain

Certainly Certain

Wittgenstein tends to merge certainty and knowledge a little...

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The Perpetual Hygiene Regime and the STEMification of the Intellectuals

The Perpetual Hygiene Regime and the STEMification of the Intellectuals

It is the duty of intellectuals and artists to reject enforced glee, to carve out a preserve for the life of the soul as best they can, and to call madness by its name...

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Jai Chakrabarti on Janusz Korczak

Jai Chakrabarti on Janusz Korczak

Korczak lived an extraordinary life through the worst of times. He was an educator and ran an orphanage in the Warsaw ghetto...

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Inhabiting Weil’s Philosophy by Aishwarya Iyer

Inhabiting Weil’s Philosophy by Aishwarya Iyer

Everything which is impersonal in man is sacred, and nothing else...

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Hannes Schumacher: Now, Apocalypse

Hannes Schumacher: Now, Apocalypse

To say that the apocalypse is both utopian and dystopian is neither left nor right but baldly realist; it is to prolong the ultimate decision into all eternity...

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M. Munro: Autofiction

M. Munro: Autofiction

Recalling how Kafka’s tale ends, with the gatekeeper closing the door of the Law as the protagonist expires, roaring in his ear that all along it was meant for him alone...

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Greg Gerke on Gilles Deleuze

Greg Gerke on Gilles Deleuze

In reading bits and bobs of Deleuze, I came upon some pages in What is Philosophy? that cooly and accurately describe the artist’s experience...

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Golden State; Misplaced Dreams

Golden State; Misplaced Dreams

Today, when I hear that fraudsters such as Robin DiAngelo are seeking to coerce employees of large corporations into joining “racial affinity groups”, my only thought is this: No thanks, lady. I’ve seen that trick before...

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No One the Wiser

No One the Wiser

What is Socrates getting out of showing people that they don’t know what they take themselves to know?

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Samik Dasgupta: Digital Death

Samik Dasgupta: Digital Death

We must wrestle control from Big Tech. We must restore dignity to the dearly departed...

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Considering Cremation

Considering Cremation

Just a few steps away, my mind was buzzing like a bee: What the hell are you doing? You’re only fifty! People your age are starting new chapters in their lives, and you’re planning your death?

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The Quest for Solitude and Silence

The Quest for Solitude and Silence

A practice ‘designed to demonstrate the transience of all material things’ has been co-opted in ‘service of the profit motive’...

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Kenkō’s Travels

Kenkō’s Travels

It wakes one up to go away from home for a time, no matter where...

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Booked Out

Booked Out

These books destined me to an unbalanced life, like a poorly packed U-Haul that leans too far to one side...

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Chenxing Han in Yogyakarta

Chenxing Han in Yogyakarta

I miss many aspects of my chaplaincy training: the deep listening that can blossom in the most unexpected of circumstances, the twinning of action and reflection...

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Consequentialist and Deontological

Consequentialist and Deontological

To evaluate states of affairs we use the concepts of good and bad, better and worse. To evaluate actions we use in addition the concepts of right and wrong...

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Do puppets have free will?

Do puppets have free will?

Arguments against free will go back millennia, but the latest resurgence of scepticism has been driven by advances in neuroscience during the past few decades...

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Are we puppets of the gods?

Are we puppets of the gods?

The almost subconscious fear that we could be soulless machines manipulated by other powers poses a profound philosophical conundrum pondered since ancient times...

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René Girard has many Silicon Valley disciples…

René Girard has many Silicon Valley disciples…

A student of René Girard’s while at Stanford in the late 1980s, Peter Thiel would go on to report that Girard is his greatest intellectual inspiration...

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