Thursday, August 29, 2019

Making Sense: The Art of Philosophical Living (Index)

Diogenes the Cynic

I don't see philosophy as a mode of inquiry; I see it as a way of life. Nevertheless, until relatively recently, I always tried to keep myself (i.e. my self) out of what I wrote. I did so because I believed this was the appropriate thing to do - that it was in the interests of personal and professional humility. After all, who cares about me? My philosophical lens was, thus, always turned outwards, onto the world, and never inwards, onto the self.

That changed when my sister died back in April 2018. In the year following her death, I wrote several, far more personal articles. These articles focused initially on how to cope with grief, but then grew into more general reflections on character, attitude and outlook. In each of them, I've been trying to use the tools of philosophical analysis to re-assess and to re-adjust.

I have found writing these articles to be therapeutic, even though I cringe, slightly, when I read back over them. To me they seem quite self-indulgent. Still, a large number of readers have responded positively to them and they are now among the most popular things I have ever written. Consequently, it feels like the time had come to group them together into one index. Some people might find it useful to read them together as a collection. Below, I have grouped them according to certain themes. This does, however, correspond roughly to the chronological order in which I wrote them. So not only do they cover specific topics, they also provide a pretty accurate record of how I was thinking over the course of a year or so.

How should I cope with death?

What kind of attitude should I have to life?

How should I approach my work?

Putting it all together

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