Locked up in my home for the last several weeks, I am missing the banal ecstasies of waking up next to the person I care about. Touch is impossible at the moment, as is casual conversation and the simple pleasure of being in a room together, quietly enjoying their company. Romance is replaced by the dull ache of missing someone: their bed, body, and self. Touch and companionship are gentle necessities, often forgotten or neglected until everyone in the world is feeling forgotten and neglected, and then we’re reminded how much we need each other.
Sir Roger Scruton – professor of philosophy, author, political thinker, composer, theorist of music, barrister, ecologist, wine connoisseur, publicist and gadfly at large—passed away this January 12. As the sad news broke, a global outpouring of tributes began, testifying to the magnitude of Scruton’s achievement and provoking questions about its meaning. Among the first, Timothy Garton Ash tweeted his sadness for the loss of a “provocative, sometimes outrageous Conservative thinker that a truly liberal society should be glad to have challenging it.”
What I can remember, however, every morning, is a dream. Not merely a memory of a memory hiding in the recess of a bad night’s sleep. I remember every detail. The color of the curtains in the room, the number of flowers in the vase, the dialogue, what I’m wearing, who I am. I can recall a maximum of three dreams from the previous night, but I average around two. But just like you probably have no idea what you ate for dinner a week ago, eventually the dream falls away. I make a point of remembering the ones I want to remember and I let the rest go. People always tell me to write them down. I’ve protested this practice. A dream is ineffable, not simply language, it isn’t just a story…
“The story so far: In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” (Adams, The Restaurant at The End of the Universe) Whether the core was excavated from the bowels of the Earth 15 years ago or 500, the fact
This article originally appeared on Public Seminar and has been republished here with their kind permission. Earlier this week, and in advance of the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, Andrew Sullivan produced a video for BBC Newsnight, detailing how the election campaign and Trump’s success reminded him of Socrates’ account
Once, in a seminar of the Representation class with Geoff, I made a comment about the painting that we were discussing by reading a passage that I wrote on my notebook before I came to the class. He appreciated the comment but insisted that I voiced my impression on the painting at that very moment.
I am surprised that it took me this long to figure out just who exactly this “Plato” guy was. Growing up, I heard the names “Plato”, “Socrates”, and “Aristotle” often, usually in relation to one another, but did not understand what these names contributed to Western philosophy and science. Until recently, the mention of one
My first semester at Bard College Berlin just ended and I would like to write about the past few months and draw on my first insight into a liberal arts education. At first, many people advised me not to study at a liberal arts university. In Germany you usually choose a field of study that