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Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
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By Walter Cummins Review of At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails by Sarah Bakewell (New York: Other Press, 2016)   One reason Sarah Bakewell’s The Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails is such an engaging read was her decision to organize her examination of philosophy around the lives of the central […]

Review
Photo of third suicide bomber behind Stade de France blasts - photo released by French police, 22 Nov 2015 - AFP; Getty Images

. . . though that cause was, I believe, one of the worst for which a people ever fought, and one for which there was the least excuse. I do not question, however, the sincerity of the great mass of those who were opposed to us. — U.S. Grant, writing, years later, about the Confederate […]

ZiR

Two disparate analogies to help us begin thinking about how the process works. A drug company tests its latest concoctions—e.g. statins—to see what effects they have. Discovering something one of these concoctions can do—lower high LDL cholesterol—the company engages its public relations and advertising arms in trumpeting the value of doing this thing. Lowering LDL […]

ZiR

This post juxtaposes brief notes with reproductions of five women-focused works at Chicago’s Art Institute. Readers are invited to make whatever connections they will and draw whatever conclusions they might between the art works, which seem to me unified only in their focus on women, in the genius of their making (by men, by the way), and […]

ZiLL

{click for pdf}   An e-mail discussion with the philosopher and Zeteo contributor Ed Mooney has led me back to two paragraphs in Sartre’s L’Être et le néant (Being and Nothingness). One of the oft-quoted (in English) lines from these paragraphs is “my acts cause values to spring up like partridges,” and I harbor hopes of […]

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A Syrian man holds lifeless body of his son, killed by Syrian Army, Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2013, photo by Manu Brabo - AP

{click for pdf}   An e-mail discussion with the philosopher and Zeteo contributor Ed Mooney has led me back to two paragraphs in Sartre’s L’Être et le néant (Being and Nothingness). One of the oft-quoted (in English) lines from these paragraphs is “my acts cause values to spring up like partridges,” and I harbor hopes of […]

ZiR

February 8, 2017

How does the slogan “man is a wolf to man” fit in with your later, somewhat hopeful image of camaraderie in the class struggle? I mean, if your starting assessment of human nature is correct, then doesn’t the class struggle actually come down to one group of savage beasts fighting another, the exploited class merely comprising those wolves with less opportunity to express their lupine ferocity? And don’t the exploiters no less than the exploited regularly turn against one another, so that besides the strife of classes, there is also the strife of each wolf against every other wolf? Wha...

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Beyoncé

{click for pdf}   An e-mail discussion with the philosopher and Zeteo contributor Ed Mooney has led me back to two paragraphs in Sartre’s L’Être et le néant (Being and Nothingness). One of the oft-quoted (in English) lines from these paragraphs is “my acts cause values to spring up like partridges,” and I harbor hopes of […]

Article

December 13, 2016

Any doubts I may have had have been thoroughly quashed.

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Categories: Review | Add a Comment

{click for pdf}   An e-mail discussion with the philosopher and Zeteo contributor Ed Mooney has led me back to two paragraphs in Sartre’s L’Être et le néant (Being and Nothingness). One of the oft-quoted (in English) lines from these paragraphs is “my acts cause values to spring up like partridges,” and I harbor hopes of […]

Review

November 29, 2016

What a nice review ! I've read Bakewell and admire her courage and skill in mixing biography and philosophy in such an attractive way -- and I admire your skill in presenting the figures and themes of existentialism in an equally attractive way ! Mazel tov !

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