Seneca’s Timeless Advice on the Art of Reading

Seneca’s Timeless Advice on the Art of Reading

Reading a great book (specifically nonfiction) is to acquire, within a matter of hours, the insights and knowledge that the author spent months, years, and sometimes decades developing. In this sense, books are knowledge multipliers, shortcuts to years of research and thinking, and the more books you read, the more hard-won knowledge you accumulate in a fraction of the time.

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A Lesson on the Difference Between Philosophy and Religion

A Lesson on the Difference Between Philosophy and Religion

How to Live a Good Life book cover

A philosophy of life is a considered set of principles by which one finds meaning, purpose, and coherence in the world. A philosophy of life contains an epistemology (what can be known), a metaphysics (how the world works), an ethical framework (how to behave and treat others), and variously a political philosophy that describes how society should be structured. 

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Epicurus on the Three Obstacles to Happiness and Tranquility

Epicurus on the Three Obstacles to Happiness and Tranquility

According to Epicurus (341–270 B.C.E.), an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of Epicureanism, the path to living the good life is self-evident. At bottom, there is something that we all seek for its own sake, and that is pleasure, just as we all seek to avoid the opposite of pleasure, pain. Since we all know with relative certainty the kinds of things that bring us both pleasure and pain, we can use this knowledge as the foundation for living the best possible life. 

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How the Presocratic Philosophers Invented Critical Rationalism

How the Presocratic Philosophers Invented Critical Rationalism

Thales of Miletus, a Presocratic philosopher born in 626 BCE, proposed that the underlying, fundamental substance of all matter was water, while his student Anaximander thought the substance was an indefinite material called Apeiron. Anaximenes, Anaximander’s student, disagreed with both and thought the fundamental substance was air, while Heraclitus disagreed with everyone and thought the substance was fire. 

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