February 24, 2016

I am delighted in this post to announce and explain my new classes, “Virtues, Values, and Meaning in Life” and a revamped and relaunched version of my Philosophy for Atheists class. Both will start as soon as students are ready in March 2016 and run year round as students are able to continue or join midstream. Contact me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com or, preferably, on Facebook to express your interest and help me nail down the schedule around your availability. Read more

February 2, 2016

I got to have a fantastic chat with Massimo Pigliucci about stoicism. Check it out below: If you want to watch selected segments, here are direct links to portions of the video where we discussed different distinct topics. For those interested in debates about the legitimacy of a lot of social justice activism, the segment about applying Stoicism to the social sphere connects directly to those issues. Stoicism: a philosophical alternative to religion Adapting an ancient philosophy of life to modern times Accepting harsh truths Confronting regret, fear, and death Applying Stoicism to the social sphere Interpreting the concept of radical self-sufficiency I am also going to spend this month (February 2016) teaching a four week class on Stoic Ethics that will meet February 5, 9, 16, and 23 from 3pm-5pm Eastern. (Essentially it’s a Tuesdays class but the first session will now be on Friday to accommodate a time conflict for one of the students.) There’s still time to sign up if you want to. Just write me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com to let me know you want to join or to ask any questions. If you cannot make the class this month but want me to do it again in the future, please write to let me know that too! For more on how my courses work and a fuller menu of them, see this page. Read more

January 26, 2016

Earlier this month I announced two new classes I’m launching. One on the Ethics of War and the other on Stoic Ethics. I am also going to offer a History of Philosophy class by request as well. Now, based on interested prospective students’ feedback on convenient times to run the classes, I have scheduled them for the following times. First time students in my classes get a free session, so if you’re on the fence, try a class with no risk…. Read more

January 15, 2016

Marcus Aurelius argues that a moral wrongdoing done from desire is worse than one done from anger because it’s less “manly” to be mastered by pleasure than driven by anger (which he compares instead to a bodily convulsion). In this post I critically analyze his claim from numerous perspectives, from the Nietzschean to the feminist. Read more

January 8, 2016

When you wake up in the morning say to yourself: There is a high likelihood that people will frustrate me today and, regardless of my best efforts to be thoughtful and cooperative, I will likely frustrate others as well. This is because no matter how good we are as people we will inevitably have differences of opinion, conflicts of goals, and personal fallibility that make us frustrating to one another. We each belong to a shared, mutually interdependent, species and we will each… Read more

January 8, 2016

In this hilarious video, the kids playing truth or dare are unusually philosophical about the meaning of “truth”: Your Thoughts? Read more

January 7, 2016

This is the first of a series of posts I introduced last week wherein I will be critically reading Stoic writings that have bearing on ethics. In February 2016 I will also teach a one month long course on Stoic Ethics. Get more information here and write me at camelswithhammers@gmail.com if you want to sign up so that I can schedule the class’s time around your availability. Also I will be teaching a regular length class on the ethics of war. I… Read more

January 3, 2016

Star Wars: The Feminism Awakens? Episode II: Don’t Diminish Leia To Praise Rey Leia In The Original Trilogy While fans of women’s empowerment everywhere are rejoicing that the next generation Luke Skywalker is a young woman, I think it’s important that we not underestimate the greatness of Princess Leia. A lot of the praise for Rey has been coupled with complaints that Star Wars hasn’t treated women very well in the past. Sure, I’ve read some say, Leia was a feisty supporting character but they debased her… Read more

January 3, 2016

Obligatory Force Awakens Spoilers Warning For The Ten People Left On The Planet Who Haven’t Seen It. In the wake of The Force Awakens there are numerous discussions about the social justice consciousness of the filmmakers and the potential for positively empowering girls and young women. Part of this has involved complaints that the film put feminist ideals above logical storytelling. Part of this has involved praise that The Force Awakens finally did women justice in a way Star Wars movies past did not. In… Read more

January 2, 2016

My feelings towards the ancient Stoics have oscillated quite a bit over the years. I’ve never scoured their writings nor done scholarship on them but they’ve nonetheless had a big impact on me. In the immediate aftermath of my deconversion, during my years of peak Nietzsche enthusiasm, I reflexively sided with Nietzsche when he lobbed barbs at them, viewing them as misguided in a way comparable to the worst of the body-hating Christians and overly rationalistic Platonists. However as soon as one starts… Read more

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