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Charles Dickens popularised the term boredom in 1853. Boredom became particularly popular in English Victorian writing in describing the life of the upper class, where boredom was indicating a privileged social standing.
In the second part of the 19th century and the early 20th century boredom was less flattering and one that confronted everybody, not just the upper class. According to Arthur Schopenhauer, boredom was evidence of the lack of purpose and meaning in life.
In the 20th century, psychologists gained an understanding of many emotions, but boredom was left alone. In 1972, psychoanalyst Erich Fromm declared boredom as "the most important source of aggression and destructiveness today."
The image of boredom changed again in the past few decades and with it, an appreciation of the emotion.
Thus, it seems that boredom helps regulate our behaviour and stops us from getting stuck in unrewarding situations.
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Boredom is sometimes described as the plague of modern society.
Psychologists differ in their definition of boredom.
Boredom is not characterised by the absence of desire. It involves desperately wanting to do something, but not finding anything that can satisfy that restlessness.
When you experience boredom, it is telling you that you've become superfluous and pointless and that you need to reclaim the authorship of your life.
Psychologists call this a crisis of agency. You've become passive and let life happen to you instead of being engaged with the world on your terms, using your skills and talents in a purposeful way.
Proneness to boredom is the result of difficulties with self-regulation. Those who are inclined to boredom may feel that boredom is a prison.
Instead of using boredom as a passage to something new, they get stuck and struggle to move on, leading to depression and anxiety, problems with drug and alcohol use, and gambling.
When most people think of philosophy, they believe philosophers simply argue about arguing. Philosophy is viewed as impractical and irrelevant to current issues.
"Science is what you know. Philosophy is what you don’t know."
Philosophy is examining our understanding of reality and knowledge. Philosophy consists of three major branches:
When you order your thoughts into a coherent belief system, you are engaging in philosophy. To criticize philosophy, you must rely on philosophy.