14 April, 2008

Governance and Power

Men are not corrupted by the exercise of power, or debased by the habit of obedience; but by the exercise of a power which they believe to be illegitimate, and by obedience to a rule which they consider to be usurped and oppressive.

Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

26 November, 2007

Heidegger: say it like you mean it

For to be human means to be a sayer. Human beings are yes- and no-sayers only because they are, in the ground of their essence, sayers, the sayers. That is their distinction and also their predicament. It distinguishes them from stone, plant, and animal, but also from the gods.

Even if we had a thousand eyes and a thousand ears, a thousand hands and many other senses and organs, if our essence did not stand within the power of language, then all beings would remain closed off to us - the beings that we ourselves are, no less than the beings that we are not.

Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics

On Rising to the Occasion

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility... I welcome it.

John F. Kennedy

25 November, 2007

The Power of Poesis

Only poetry is of the same order as philosophical thinking, although thinking and poetry are not identical. But aside from the philosopher, the poet can also talk about Nothing... because, in comparison to all mere science, an essential superiority of the spirit holds sway in poetry. Because of this superiority, the poet always speaks as if beings were expressed and addressed for the first time.

In the poetry of the poet and in the thinking of the thinker, there is always so much world-space to spare that each and every thing -- a tree, a mountain, a house, the call of a bird -- completely loses its indifference and familiarity.

Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics

This is how they win

Required viewing for all citizens.

Update! I've found a longer and more informative version of her lecture, which can be viewed here. I recommend checking out the shorter version posted above to see if you bite. You will.

Naomi Wolf, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot

The Nothing in Itself Nothings

A little something to brighten any philosophy student's day. Click to enlarge. If anyone out there can find/make more of these, please email them to me and I'll post it.


Whoever talks about Nothing does not know what he is doing.

Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics

18 April, 2006


Truth comes more directly from the agitation of the living than from the sleep of the dead.

Champfleury, Le Realisme (1857)

08 March, 2006

Limitations of Perspective (or How to Read Naked Lunch)

So instead of yelling Where Am I? cool it and look around an you will find out approximately... You were not there for The Beginning. You will not be there for The End... Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative...

William S. Burroughs, Naked Lunch

03 March, 2006


Being a professional is doing your job on the days you don't feel like doing it.

David Halberstam