Tag: Binary Oppositions


Pop-Stoicism as Ideology

Stoicism was a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium around 300 BC. Stoic philosophy consisted of logic, (meta-) physics, and ethics. There has been a bit of an upsurge of interest in stoicism recently among widely different segments of society, ranging from right-wing extremists and male supremacists to Secular Buddhists and self-help gurus. Typically, this resurgent “stoicism” ignores most of Stoic philosophy and focuses on a simplified version of selected ethical doctrines. (And that selection, moreover, depends on the interests of the group that does the selecting.) The most prominent doctrine of this “pop-stoicism” is the idea...

Some Remarks on the Notion of “Cartesian Dualism” in Continental Philosophy

In the beginning of the 20th century, Western philosophy split into two main schools, analytic and continental philosophy, that – barring exceptions – neither read nor understand each other. My own work and influences are mostly within, or closely affiliated with, the analytic school, but occasionally I read some continental philosophy (as well as some non-Western philosophy). One peculiar term I encountered several times in such reading across scholastic boundaries is “Cartesian dualism”, most recently in Saito Kohei’s Marx in the Anthropocene. To be more precise, it is not the term itself that struck me as peculiar – you’ll find...
Social Issues

Death, Masculinity, and Hegemony

“At the center of the symbolic order is the abhorrence of death,” writes Odile Strik in the conclusion of her short essay The Symbolic Order of Life and Manhood. The “symbolic order” of the title connects death and masculinity, and (supposedly) structures the way most people understand reality. The essay is terse and almost poetic, and only presents a rough sketch of this symbolic order, but it deals with a number of important themes – such as masculinity, life and death, and cultural hegemony – and it deserves credit for bringing those themes together. This article is a (long) commentary...