Why Daily Philosophy?
First of all, welcome to these pages!
Our world today doesn’t suffer from a lack of interesting problems. Refugees, civil wars, ecological disasters, terrorism, mass shootings, self-driving cars, autonomous robots, exoplanets, alien life, the meaning of life, TV, anxiety, personal fulfillment, status, living in cyberspace, violence, freedom, whistle-blowing, free speech, safe speech, censorship.
Every news article one reads seems to pose new questions: ethical, existential, metaphysical, practical. One would think that beings that have so many problems in their lives would utilize all the wisdom their incredibly diverse cultures offer, to try and deal with these issues, to try to solve their problems and find peace.
Daily Philosophy has an idea for this year’s resolution: live your life like a philosopher. Come along to the One Year, Six Ways project!
But this is not happening. Instead, we largely ignore what our best minds have found out over centuries of thought and inquiry, and we are content to let TV serials deal with our problems on our behalf. One look at the world’s current state is sufficient to see how well this works.
Daily Philosophy is the proposal that perhaps things don’t have to be like this. There is nothing to stop us from looking at humanity’s treasure of wisdom and thought that we have accumulated over the ages, and to try and use some of that in order to better understand our world and our problems today, both political and personal.
This is not something we should leave to academic philosophers, either. Academic philosophy today is rarely interested in the questions that really count. Philosophy of language, ontology, metaphysics, especially as conceived of in analytic philosophy departments all over the Western world, completely miss the point. The most interesting, pressing questions one is not even allowed to ask: about the meaning of life, the meaning of technology and what it does to us, what it means to be human, what the value of freedom is, and so on through the whole list above.
But this shouldn’t stop anyone from asking. We are all humans, and the wisdom of the ages belongs to all of us. We all have a right to access it, to understand it, and to use it to make sense of our world. And the more of us do that, the better the chances are that we might actually find some answers.
So, let’s begin asking the interesting questions!
On this site you will find short bits of philosophy for a short everyday read (the “daily seeds”). You will find longer, in-depth articles about particular topics. You will find interviews with interesting people who have interesting thoughts. You will find articles on current affairs.
You will find the occasional topic on religion, or Eastern wisdom: not because religion is better than philosophy, but because it sometimes asks the same questions, and because sometimes it gives good answers. This site favors no particular philosophy or creed and recognizes the value of religion for human thought, as well as its dangers. It is respectful of all faiths, and respectful of human thought. It wants to educate and to remind us that we are not alone with our problems. Often the same questions have been asked before, and brilliant people have struggled with them, and sometimes they have given interesting answers that are worth remembering.
Daily Philosophy is a small attempt to find those sparks of light, and to pass them on to those who might be searching in the darkness.
Come, search with us!
In 2020, we published a number of articles that have become reader favourites. Among others, we discussed Aristotle on how to live a meaningful life, Erich Fromm on productivity, and Richard Taylor on being creative.