Whether we’re talking Star Wars or Twilight, Star Trek or Batman, there is no real difference between“canon” and “fan fiction”.

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The entire argument has already been made in the headline and subheadline. The rest of this article will simply be a footnote on this point, which I believe to be more or less irrefutable.

Given this, you should recognize that this article is basically fluff, and consider that your next six minutes or so might be better spent doing something else.

Oh? You’re on your break at work and need something to pass the time? You’re in the restroom and need something to read? Or, you’re merely finding something else to occupy the agonizing, seemingly neverending hours of a sustained lockdown while counting down the days until you finally die of boredom? …


Disputing the popular view of Nietzsche as an irrationalist

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“One of Nietzsche’s most famous maxims is that ‘truth serves life’, and that’s a very different idea than the purpose of truth, say, as the accurate representation of the objective world.”

— Jordan Peterson*

When Jordan B. Peterson first appeared on Sam Harris’ Waking Up Podcast (since rebranded as the Making Sense Podcast), the ensuing dialogue was as highly anticipated as it was ultimately disappointing.

Whatever you think of either of these figures, there is no question of their influence. Even after his visibility has waned a bit following his recent disappearance from public life (and stint in rehab), Peterson still has a fanbase of millions. Sam Harris’ popularity rivals Peterson’s, and he’s existed as an intellectual in the public eye for decades. …


What we find persuasive has very little to do with objective truth

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The School of Athens (detail) — by Raphael (courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

It seems like we’re always talking about “the battle of ideas” these days. This is nothing new— John Stuart Mill famously coined the term, “the marketplace of ideas” to describe open discourse within free societies. Given the availability for people to get their ideas into the public domain more easily than ever, the battle of ideas seems inevitable and beneficial.

When I say “we”, I’m of course referring to the philosophically-minded. Those of us for whom ethics is not simply inherited from our parents, for whom politics is not merely a team sport, for whom religion is not simply a question of which church you were raised in. …


The history of a divided world

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Plato’s allegory of the cave by Jan Saenredam, according to Cornelis van Haarlem, 1604, Albertina, Vienna, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

“The senses give both us and the animals access to the natural world, but we humans have superimposed a second world by internalizing a poem, thereby making the two worlds seem equally inescapable.”

― Richard Rorty

The second world that Rorty references is, of course, the “True world”, or the Lap of Being. The philosopher, Immanuel Kant, called this the noumenal world, or the world-as-such. This is in contrast with the world we experience through our senses. This is the objective world; the external world; the world of facts that don’t depend on human knowledge or perception.

Sometimes we call this second world metaphysical. Some world religions have this same concept of a “True World”, such the non-dualistic schools of Buddhism, who argue that the world we experience is mostly illusory. The concept exists also in Hinduism, in the form of the Veil of Maya, that divides our world of separate objects and mere appearances from the Brahman: the true nature of reality. …


A brief history of “questionability” in the 20th and 21st century — and its victims.

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Thomas Cole — Destruction (from the series The Course of Empire)

Philosophers are always thinking about the end. Why? Because every good story has a final chapter, where the conflicts are resolved and the loose ends are tied up. After having the same philosophical debates for such a long time, and without an end in sight to many of them, it is only natural to want to draw a definitive end point, however arbitrary such an end point may be. This encloses a given philosophical problem within a comprehensible narrative. Hopefully, dear reader, you can forgive me on this basis.

Nietzsche predicted the decline of Christianity in the western world. He called it the Death of God: his metaphor for how the Christian God was no longer believable to the European mind. He wondered how the coming generations would justify their moral and cultural values without some transcendent illusion to enchant the world. In effect, Nietzsche was predicting the end of faith — in Europe, at least — and the challenges, dangers and opportunities laid before us in its wake. …


“Socrates, to confess it frankly, is so close to me that almost always I fight a fight against him.”

— Nietzsche (fragment, 1875)

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Socrates (470–399 BC), Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900 AD)

Alpha and Omega

No philosopher has been more revered throughout history than Socrates. He was an unpopular figure in his own time, because he challenged the artists, statesmen, and other philosophers of Athens to explain their reasoning for what they held to be true. His unmitigated skepticism soured the community against him, and led to Socrates’ eventual downfall — but it is for this same reason that Socrates has been immortalized.

The persona of Socrates and his arguments come to us primarily through the writings of his student, Plato. Contained therein is a jewel of world literature, a philosophical treasure trove. It is for this reason that A.N. …


Let’s rebuild our cities to maximize our own happiness, health, and well-being.

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Ebenezer Howard’s concept for the “Garden Cities of To-Morrow”

It was late September in 2016, and my band, Destroyer of Light, was in the middle of one of our longest U.S. tours. In the third week of the tour, the route took us into Maryland for a metal fest, known as Shadow Woods.

Maryland is known for their enthusiastic metal scene, and for Maryland Death Fest, one of the biggest metal festivals in the country. I’d never heard of most of the bands headlining Shadow Woods, but I was excited to spend two days out in the forest listening to underground black metal. …


The Post-Truth of American Buddhism

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“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. …


resentment is identified as a psychological poison

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Robert Spencer — Mob Vengeance (1930, public domain)

It is difficult to approach a thinker like Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900). Oftentimes in order to understand a philosopher, we must delve into their ideas in full context, in order to understand the nuances of their thought. It’s tempting to seek out a quick, easy summary of a philosopher’s ideas. With someone like Nietzsche, that presents a huge problem. So much of the popular consciousness surrounding Nietzsche is influenced by the quick and dirty explanations of his ideas given by popular figures or agenda-driven pseudo-philosophers.

Nevertheless, here I am writing a quick and dirty introduction to Friedrich Nietzsche. …

About

K. J. L. Kjeldsen

Musician who has been touring for the past eight years. I write autodidact philosophy, memoirs, short stories and cultural criticism.

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