Epictetus – Discourses Book 2 Chapter 1 – That confidence is not inconsistent with caution The opinion of philosophers may be a paradox. It is possible to do everything with both caution & confidence. It appears that these things can’t be combined. But if they can, how? Philosopher sayContinue Reading

Epictetus – Discourses Book 1 Chapter 1 – Of the things which are in our power & not in our power. There’s only one faculty able to contemplate itself & either approve or disapprove. Grammar tells you what words to use but it doesn’t tell you whether you should writeContinue Reading

Plato – Statesman Theodorus wants the Eleatic Stranger to show how the Statesman, Philosopher & Sophist are all different. Socrates allows a young Socrates “to be the interlocutor”. They start off saying that the sciences should be divided into subcategories. The sciences are divided between action-based knowledge (handicrafts, etc.) &Continue Reading

Aristotle – On Interpretation We need to understand terms like “noun” & “verb” then “negation”, “affirmation”, preposition” & “sentence”. Spoken words are symbols of mental experiences & written words are symbols of spoken words. We don’t all have the same writing or the same sounds but our mental experiences areContinue Reading

“Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals” or “Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals” by Immanuel Kant (1785) – Part 3 Transition from the Metaphysics of Morals to the Critique of Pure Practical Reason 1 – The Concept of Freedom is the key to explaining autonomy of the will RationalContinue Reading

“Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals” or “Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals” by Immanuel Kant (1785) – Part 2 It’s impossible to find an act done purely out of moral duty, when you look deeper, almost always is the action accompanied by a motive of selfishness on topContinue Reading

“Fundamental Principles of the Metaphysic of Morals” or “Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals” by Immanuel Kant (1785) – Part 1 Preface Ancient Greek Philosophy had 3 sciences: Physics, Ethics & Logic. All knowledge is either material or formal Material: considers some object. Material philosophy has to do with determinateContinue Reading

“Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men” Part 2 by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1755) Part 2 The man who put up a fence around a plot of land & said “this is mine” was the founder of civil society. It should have been ignored but the natural wayContinue Reading

“Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality Among Men” by Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1755) Dedication to Geneva I’m glad to be from Geneva & in this discourse I reflect on equality & inequality The best place to live is where: Society is proportionate to human limitations The sovereign & people’sContinue Reading

VIII. The Fundamentals Of The Christian Religion 556 – Christianity looks to establish a great religion For this, man need it to explain his nature & that of the world around him Many revile it because they don’t understand it God is great, powerful & eternal but removed from ManContinue Reading

VI. The Philosophers 374 – What surprises me is that people aren’t surprised by their own weakness They are so serious & they follow their life’s path out of certainty of what reason & justice are They’re constantly deceived & they think it’s their own fault Many people glorify skepticsContinue Reading

“Pensées” by Blaise Pascal (1623–1662) I. Thoughts On Mind And On Style II. The Misery Of Man Without God 72 – Man’s Disproportion This is where innate knowledge leads us If not, there’s no truth in man If so, he’ll find a cause of humiliation Man should focus on natureContinue Reading

  “Areopagitica” by John Milton (1644) Euripides – liberty is when free men can advise the public freely. Those who can & do do this are to be praised. Those who can’t or won’t, can shut up. What can be better for the country than this? Now those who wantContinue Reading

“The Art of Life” by Walter Horatio Pater (1839-1894) We tend to think of things & principles as inconstant modes & fashions Let’s examine physical life… Look at the floods of summer rain We don’t see anything but a combination of elements from the periodic table They’re in our bodiesContinue Reading

“Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius (170-180 AD)   Book I: a list of “Thank yous” or sources of his wisdom: Grandfather (Verus): morals and even temper Biological father (Annius Verus): modesty and manly character Mother: piety and beneficence abstinence from evil deeds and thoughts simplicity of life, to live unlike mostContinue Reading

“Lucretius” by George Santayana (1910) We don’t know much about Lucretius other than what St. Jerome said about him He’d been given a love potion & went nuts. In between the psychotic episodes, he wrote the poem & it was edited by Cicero. At the age of 44, he killedContinue Reading

“On the Nature of Things” Book 4 by Lucretius (1st Century BC) 1-25 I’m just trying to experience all there is in the world All in order to teach others, to remove the bonds of religion & brace the reader for unpleasant truths that will cause him to recoil &Continue Reading

“On the Nature of Things” Book 3 by Lucretius (1st Century BC)   1-30 Lucretius is following in Epicurus;s footsteps even many years later, in another country, in another language He feels the desire to imitate Epicurus’s work & help spread his word around the world He enjoys reading &Continue Reading

“On the Nature of Things” Book 2 by Lucretius (1st Century BC) 1-62 It’s comforting to watch another ship fight the sea & wind while yours is calm, not because you rejoice in others’ struggles but because it reminds you of how nice it is to be free from struggleContinue Reading

“On the Nature of Things” Book 1 by Lucretius (1st Century BC) 1-49 Prays to Venus, who’s able to affect the seas, fertility of the land, the rising & setting of the sun, influence on all nature & life Puts love into all things Asks her to appease Mars &Continue Reading