Philosophers don’t often discuss filth and all its disgusting variations, but investigating the unclean turns out to be as useful an exercise as examining the highest ideals of justice, morality and metaphysics.
From Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fireside chats to Ronald Reagan’s reputation as the “great communicator” to Barack Obama’s soaring oratory to Donald Trump’s Twitter use, styles of presidential communication have varied over time.
“A great deal of philosophy doesn’t really deserve much of a place in the world,” leading philosopher Daniel Dennett has recently suggested in an interview at the Association of the Scientific Study of Consciousness conference in Buenos Aires.
In the beginning, humans were androgynous. So says Aristophanes in his fantastical account of the origins of love in Plato’s Symposium.
“Know Thyself. Delphic Oracle.” This famous call to the examined life that Socrates answered and passed on to the world is reprinted on the title page of The Rule of Life, a forgotten but extraordinary book published in 1834. The book reminds us that a genre of popular literature, collections of moral maxims, helped keep alive the Socratic tradition of the examined life.