James Lee Burke I invited my friend and fellow writer, Craig Terlson, to have a conversation about James Lee Burke, a fine crime/suspense author with a substantial body of work. Burke has sold a ton of books, but he’s lesser known than giants like Elmore Leonard, Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy, or Michael Connelly, but when … Continue reading A Conversation about James Lee Burke
This is a fun piece from a while back. Have a look.
In my humble opinion, one of the wackiest things about contemporary physics is the notion of indeterminacy, or the idea that (as a recent essay put it): “Reality Doesn’t Exist Until You Look at It.” This title is doubly silly, since it equates reality with what goes on at the subatomic level, and not with trees, dolphins, mountains, gerbils, Buicks, and non-fat yoghurt (the yoghurt definitely exists before you look at it, fyi). This was Schrödinger’s complaint with his famous cat thought-experiment (read here for the details).
For a long time I’d been naming this the “fallacy of deriving ontological conclusions from epistemological premises.” Ontology is the study of being; epistemology is the study of knowledge. So, in other words, one has premises concerning what one can or cannot know, and one derives a conclusion about the structure of reality from those premises. This is as illegitimate as…
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I recently read Stephen King’s On Writing for the first time. Everyone knows that King is a wildly successful writer, and there’s that perennial question of whether he’s actually a good writer. (Yes, bad writers can be wildly successful, witness Dan Brown, who is a horrific writer.) I’ll confess that I’ve only read one of … Continue reading A Writer’s Question: To Plot or Not to Plot?
A little over two years ago, I posted a piece called “I Tweet, Therefore I Am,” in which I bemoaned the current state of publishing, swore of self-publishing forever, and argued that it didn’t make sense for someone to build an online presence before he or she had produced something to promote (e.g., a novel). … Continue reading Perseverance: A Writer’s Virtue, or: How to Get to ‘Yes’
“The greatest punishment, if one isn’t willing to rule, is to be ruled by someone worse than oneself.” (Republic, 347c) “Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are not called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide…cities will have no rest from evils…nor, I … Continue reading Plato on the Rise of Trump, or: Philosophy in 140 Characters?
This is a craft book about writing fiction that reads like a novel. In other words, Percy is giving writing advice, while at the same time telling engaging stories about himself, his life, his process in writing. It’s all very engaging, sometimes even thrilling, and the advice is solid to inspired. The book is broken … Continue reading Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction, Benjamin Percy. A Review.
I'm very pleased to announce the release of my anthology, Nietzsche and the Philosophers. It's a collection of essays devoted to Nietzsche's relationship to other great thinkers in the history of philosophy, figures such as Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, Emerson, and Rousseau. I was lucky enough to recruit some of the most important scholars … Continue reading Nietzsche and the Philosophers
“I think there are two Donald Trumps.” (Palm Beach, Florida, March 11, 2016) “I don’t think there are two Donald Trumps. I think there’s one Donald Trump.” (Palm Beach, Florida, March 11, 2016) In a recent posting of “The Stone,” a column devoted to philosophical issues in The New York Times, Michael P. Lynch well-notes … Continue reading Trump is God (but not in a good way)
I was recently interviewed by Ezra Zaid from BFM radio in Kuala Lumpur. He hosts an English-language show about comedy, "Finding the Funny," and he'd run across the volume on Woody Allen and Philosophy I'd co-edited. You can listen to the radio interview here. In addition, you can read my essay from the volume, "God, … Continue reading Woody Allen and Philosophy
The recent death of David Bowie struck me rather hard. It’s not that I was the biggest fan. Don’t get me wrong, I loved his music. I’ve cherished The Ziggy Stardust album, for example, for decades. But I never saw him in concert. Sadly, a week before he died I signed up for updates on … Continue reading On The Death of David Bowie, or: The Gods of Our Youth