Tag: Culture


Mythos, Wisdom, and Scavenger Philosophy

According to Karl Jaspers, philosophy arose in the “Axial Age” as a kind of critical reflection on myth and tradition. Nowadays, there is widespread agreement among historians of ideas that the notion of an “Axial Age” is itself a myth, but I think that the other part of Jaspers’ idea is right, that is, philosophy indeed originates in critical reflection on myth and tradition. This doesn’t mean that this defines the scope and purpose of philosophy, of course – as a “mature” discipline, philosophy mostly reflects on itself – but I believe that reflection on this idea about the origins...
PhilosophySocial Issues

A Right to Hate?

In August, French blogger Pauline Harmange published a booklet titled Moi les hommes, je les déteste (Me, men, I loathe them), which caused quite a stir in France (and a little bit outside France as well). The book – supposedly – is a protest against misogyny (hatred of women), by taking up the opposite point of view of misandry (hatred of men). “Supposedly”, because I’m not sure exactly about the book’s arguments as it is no longer available and I have thus been unable to read it. In any case, it is not this book itself that is the topic...
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...