deepstash

Beta

Deepstash brings you key ideas from the most inspiring articles like this one:

Read more efficiently

Save what inspires you

Remember anything

Six Ideas from Western Philosophy

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/six-ideas-from-western-philosophy/

theschooloflife.com

Six Ideas from Western Philosophy
Six Ideas from Western Philosophy - Articles from The School of Life, formally The Book of Life, a gathering of the best ideas around wisdom and emotional intelligence.

6

Key Ideas

Save all ideas

Weeping Over Life

Weeping Over Life

‘What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.’ - Seneca.

This dark remark gets to the heart of Stoicism, which says we get weepy and angry not only because our plans failed, but because we strongly expected them not to. Seneca thought the less we expect, the less we will suffer. Seneca was trying to spare us the kind of hope that inspires bitterness and anger.

72 SAVES

299 READS

VIEW

Peccatum Originale - Original Sin

Peccatum Originale - Original Sin

St Augustine was deeply interested in finding explanations for the evident tragic disorder of the world.

Augustine contemplated the idea that human nature is inherently damaged because, in the Garden of Eden, Eve sinned against God by eating the forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge. Her guilt was passed down to all people. As a metaphor for why the world is in a mess, Augustine implies that we should not expect too much from the human race.

49 SAVES

198 READS

Being Less Intimidated By Powerful People

Being Less Intimidated By Powerful People

‘Kings and Philosophers shit, and so do ladies’. This is a blunt phrase of 16th-century French philosopher Michel de Montaigne.

He wanted to let us feel closer to and less intimidated by people whose life might seem very impressive. Montaigne attempted to free us from uncertainty and shyness from thinking too much of others and too little of ourselves.

62 SAVES

225 READS

Our Inability To Be Alone

Our Inability To Be Alone

We should learn to become better friends with ourselves. ‘All our unhappiness comes from our inability to sit alone in our room.’

The 17th-century French philosopher Blaise Pascal pointed out that instead of staying undistracted with ourselves - appreciating small pleasures, thinking before we act, examining our minds - we are tempted to crave excitements. We meddle in the affairs of others but fail to help them; we seek fame and end up being misunderstood.

69 SAVES

218 READS

Sub Specie Aeternitatis

Sub Specie Aeternitatis

Translated from Latin, 'under the aspect of eternity' is a phrase from philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

For Spinoza, philosophy teaches us to look at things, such as our own suffering and disappointment, as though we were looking from high down at the earth. From this high perspective, our troubles no longer seem so insurmountable.

53 SAVES

173 READS

The Imperfections Of Our Human Nature

The Imperfections Of Our Human Nature

'Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.' - Immanuel Kant

Kant urged us to recognize that nothing that people do can ever be perfect because we are creatures of passion and erroneous instinct as well as reason and intelligence. Accepting our crooked nature is the birth of generosity. Kant added that crooked beams could make beautiful floors in the hands of a talented carpenter.

57 SAVES

211 READS

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

The maximalist philosophy of reading

The maximalist philosophy of reading

The modern world equates the intelligent person will the well-read person. It's difficult to think of anyone arriving at any worthy insights without having read an impressive n...

Reading in the premodern world

The premodern world was obsessed with asking, "what is the point is of reading?" They had answers too.

  • For example, the value for Christians and Muslims was holding up one book - the Bible or the Koran - as more important than anything else. This book was read repeatedly and with great attention.
  • In the Ancient Greek world, one focused on just two books: Homer's Odyssey and his Iliad. These were all that was needed to impart the Greek code of honour and the best guides to action in military and civilian affairs.
  • In the 18th century England, the ideal of reading was focused on Virgil's Aeneid - all a gentleman required to pass as cultivated. More reading was viewed as eccentric.

Why the modern world read so much

The modern world has adopted an Enlightenment mantra that states there should be no limit to how much we read because we read in order to know everything. We don't read to understand God or to follow civic virtue; we read to understand the whole of human existence.

This maximalist legacy of the Enlightenment idea of reading is present within the publishing industry, within the way books are presented to the public at school and in shops, and within our own guilty responses to the pressure to read more.

2 more ideas

The Complicated Relationships With Our Parents

The Complicated Relationships With Our Parents

Parents, for many of us, are a complicated relationship. They can be a source of joy and can also feel like an emotionally draining ordeal.

Confronting them and making them understand how t...

Discussing With Our Parents: Unrealistic Expectations

Even if we feel that we have made our point, painstakingly making our parents understand the time we felt they did us wrong, we erroneously assume that our twenty-minute discussion will suddenly cure them of behavioural patterns that are in effect from several decades.

An outright bad parent is easier to handle, but the problem is complicated when the same parent is also caring, loving and is a genuine well-wisher.

Conflicting Emotions: Between Love and Hate

While we may think that our parents are conflicted personalities, we are unconsciously having the same kind of behavioural patterns.

We periodically love and hate our parents, and have them imbibed in our body and mind, right down to mannerisms and quirks. We care for them yet sometimes wish to stay away from them.

Talking horizontally and encouraging honesty

Talking horizontally and encouraging honesty

Sigmund Freud discovered that there is a remarkable difference between what people will tell you when they are sitting up and looking at you in the eye, and what they will say to you when they ...

When we feel discouraged to speak

We perhaps don't realise that seeing another person's face can discourage us from speaking the truth. We may hold back and edit our presentation in the light of their reactions.

With Sigmund Freud's example in mind, we should find our own forms of horizontal conversation. After dinner, we might suggest that we all go and lie down somewhere and become newly conscious of voices and nuances when we don't have to look at others' expressions.