“An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding” by David Hume

Hume and Moral Philosophy Hume speaks of “moral philosophy” in the very beginning of his treatise. I have a sneaking suspicion that one of the main purposes of his writing is to overthrow moral philosophy and religion up till his time, like what Nietzsche attempted a century later. Hume didn’t come right out and attack Christian philosophy, perhaps because blasphemy law was still in effect … Continue reading  “An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding” by David Hume

“The Varieties of Religious Experience” by William James

William James anticipated the modern debate on the relationship between science and religion, and provided good reasons to take religion seriously. His personal and common sense approach works particularly well within a pluralistic and consumer culture. Choosing a Religion For Yourself First, every human being must face the reality of life, death, suffering, and something beyond ourselves. How do we respond to this reality? James … Continue reading “The Varieties of Religious Experience” by William James

“Repetition” by Søren Kierkegaard

She is the boundary of his being Kierkegaard met Regine Olsen in Copenhagen in 1837, and, by all appearances, there was a deep attraction between the two. They were engaged in 1840, but Kierkegaard immediately broke off the engagement the following year. Regina married her old tutor in 1847, and the couple left Copenhagen for the Danish West Indies in March 1855. Kierkegaard died in … Continue reading “Repetition” by Søren Kierkegaard

“Ennead I” by Plotinus

What is Consciousness One of the things that came to mind when I read Ennead I was Alzheimer disease. I’ve heard some say that advanced Alzheimer disease makes life not worth living, and that people afflicted with this disease have become less than human. Although I strongly rejected this opinion, I did it intuitively and on emotional grounds, but failed to make any strong counter-arguments. … Continue reading “Ennead I” by Plotinus

"For Self-Examination/Judge for Yourself" by Søren Kierkegaard

Against Humanity Jesus and Socrates have much in common, according to Kierkegaard: Both were terrible robbers and both were sentenced to death for their robbery. “What is assaulting a lone traveler on a highway perhaps a half-dozen times compared with his assault upon the whole human race and upon what it means to be a human being! A thief can steal my money; in so … Continue reading "For Self-Examination/Judge for Yourself" by Søren Kierkegaard

“Rhetoric” by Aristotle

An acute observer of human nature, Aristotle gives a comprehensive psychological analysis of human emotions and motives. His diagnosis is humorous at times and chilling at others, entertaining and yet incisive. Modes of Persuasion Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker; the second on putting the audience … Continue reading “Rhetoric” by Aristotle

“The Sickness Unto Death” by Søren Kierkegaard

What is Despair? “Just as a physician might say there isn’t a single human being who enjoys perfect health, so someone with a proper knowledge of man might say there is not a single human being who does not despair at least a little, in whose innermost being there does not dwell an uneasiness, an unquiet, a discordance, an anxiety in the face of an … Continue reading “The Sickness Unto Death” by Søren Kierkegaard