Newsletter: February 2023
Reflecting on the religious conflicts of his time, Zera Yacob resolved to use reason to determine which aspects of these religious traditions did indeed derive from God and which were the inventions of contentious humans.
Newsletter: January 2023
Starting with Plato, philosophy has systematically marginalized both literature and animals as beneath the dignity that philosophy has established for humankind.
Newsletter: December 2022
How are animals of the same species subjected to such different treatments? Part of the answer, I think, is that we humans don’t quite know what to make of creatures that are both so similar to us and so different.
Newsletter: November 2022
Humour and horror both provoke surprise by confounding our ordinary way of making sense of things. But humour creates an atmosphere of absolute safety and horror creates an atmosphere of absolute danger.
Newsletter: October 2022
Maybe true freedom lies not in being free from all obstacles but in imposing the right obstacles—that is, the ones that channel you in the direction you want or need to go.
Newsletter: September 2022
If I was to teach in a prison, I asked myself, what’s a topic on which I stand to learn as much from my students as they stand to learn from me? The answer announced itself at once: freedom.
Newsletter: August 2022
Better to drop your grand ambitions and just take things as they come, says Zhuangzi. Don’t fuss so much over life and life won’t stir up a fuss for you.
Newsletter: July 2022
So what is a country? I’ve put this question to students. What would be required, I ask, for us to establish the classroom as an independent state?
Newsletter: June 2022
Which stories we tell, and how we tell them, goes a long way toward articulating who we are and how we understand ourselves.
Newsletter: May 2022
Sages and mystics of many stripes have claimed that the secret to life lies in hidden in some unexpected place. An equation from probability theory devised by an eighteenth-century statistician is certainly not the least unusual.