Showing posts from June, 2017


Philosophers talk a big game when it comes to questioning things. They tell us that philosophy is a place where nothing is settled and everything is up for grabs. They like to think of themselves as the stubborn child all-grown-up, still asking ‘Why? Why? Why?’, long after the parents have thrown in the towel. The cardinal sin is the assumption unexamined, the question unasked. So they keep asking and asking, spurred on by the hope that one day they’ll uncover the truth. Truth has been the goal ever since the beginning. “‘Then who are the true philosophers?’, he asked. ‘Those whose passion is to see the truth.’”  – Plato,  The Republic “Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth.”  – Henry David Thoreau,  Walden “To love truth for truth's sake is the principal part of human perfection in this world, and the seed-plot of all other virtues.”  – John Locke, Letter to Anthony Collins  “Plato is my friend, Aristotle is my friend, but m


As soon as he sticks the arm out, you know this thing has been rehearsed. I mean, of course it’s been rehearsed. It’s  Kanye . He’s been practising for this moment in front of bathroom mirrors since he was thirteen-years-old. His very first Grammys and his very first Grammy, off the back of his very first album. You know how it goes. Start with the throwaway line. First impressions might be everything but a speech is something you ease into. You gain nothing by catching your audience by surprise. And the throwaway is something you can’t mess up. You’re just warming up here. Speak slowly. Especially at the beginning. You’ll speed up naturally as you go along so adjust for that now. Weigh your words and savour the silences. It’s the silences that mark the difference between a speech and a lecture. Make it personal. This is your moment after all. But give your audience something to chew on too – a secret, a lesson, a shout-out. It wouldn’t be much of a moment wi


Imagine you hit the EuroMillions. Your numbers came up! You are now the proud owner of £70 million. You tell a few people – your mum, your dad, and your best friend. Fifteen minutes later, you get a call from your aunt. You haven’t spoken to her in years! You didn’t even realise you had her saved in your phone! You tell yourself it’s just a coincidence. Maybe someone’s died? Someone’s probably died. ‘Hello?’ ‘CongratulaaaAAAaaations!’ Damn. She asks you a few preliminary questions, draping the very thinnest of veils over the real purpose of her call. ‘You know, you really ought to give some of that money to charity.’ You try to agree enthusiastically. Really you just agree. There’s a world of difference between ‘Yes I definitely will!’ and ‘Yes I will! Definitely.’ Trust your aunt to ruin even this. This should have been the sweetest moment of your life! She couldn’t go  fifteen minutes  without foisting a moral dilemma


Epistemology is probably the most bad-ass sounding part of philosophy (a-PISS-tuh-MOL-a-JEE). The word itself is a bit intimidating and sounds kinda as if it’s got something to do with fencing. At least to me. In reality, it has nothing to do with fencing. Like so much of philosophy, it’s a word derived from Greek, with  epistēmē  meaning ‘knowledge’, and  –ology  meaning ‘study of.’ Epistemologists are chiefly concerned with two questions, ‘What is knowledge?’ and ‘What can we know?’ In this post we’ll be exploring the first one. Now we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Kanye songs that refer to knowledge. There’s ‘I Need to Know’ from Freshmen Adjustment Vol. 1 and ‘U Know’ from Freshmen Adjustment Vol. 3 . More recently, there’s the first line of ‘Streetlights’ from 808s  and the intro to ‘Bound 2’. For this one, though, we’re gonna go with ‘The New Workout Plan’. (NOTE: disclaimer .)  This one’s from back in the day where Kanye was all up

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