Philosophy Weekend: Cool The Engines

Cool the engines
red line’s getting near
cool the engines
better take it out of gear
— Boston, ‘Cool The Engines’

I’d better take a break, let this Philosophy Weekend thing cool off … let myself cool off a little bit too.

I’ve been writing a lot of highpitched stuff lately, and getting into plenty of debates with friends and relatives everywhere from Thanksgiving dinner to Facebook. It’s time for me to step back, review my progress, find my balance, and prepare for a new round of Philosophy Weekend next year.

I began this series sixteen months ago, first with a halting introduction followed a week later by the presentation of my main thesis, which amounts to a defense of the political and personal philosophy known as pacifism. I have gradually come to realize — this wasn’t apparent even to me at first — that every article I write in this series is related in some way to the argument for pacifism. The connections may be hard to trace, but they are always there.

I’m giving this intense series a Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa break, and will kick off the new year with a new thread in January. Till then, here are a few philosophical links you might like:

1. When you find yourself in a bewildering argument with a friend or loved one, it’s worth asking: is this a case of a deep disagreement? (Hat tip, Dave Lull).

2. A persuasive explanation of Buddhist economics as described by E. F. Schumacher. I mentioned a few weeks ago that I don’t necessarily believe in Keynesian economics, nor Austrian economics, nor (I may have mentioned a few times) Randian economics. I think Buddhist economics, as described in this article, may be close to what I believe in.

3. “Was mich nicht umbringt macht mich stärker.” Nice use of Nietzsche in this now-classic piece by cancer-stricken Christopher Hitchens. I was never personally very interested in Christopher Hitchens … but he sure did go out with a touch of class.

4. Kevin J. MacLellan (who I first encountered as a Litkicks commenter) reviews Jean-Paul Sartre’s The Transcendence of The Ego.

5. Remember the idea I had about how the Tea Party and Occupy should protest together? These conference organizers in New York City had the same idea.

6. Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet (which, honestly, I’ve only skimmed, but is a huge favorite of my Mom) is being made into a movie. I don’t really get how this flick is going to work, but then I’m pretty skeptical anytime a book gets turned into a movie.

7. Pacifism, we’re talking about? Here’s a canonical text from 1906: The Moral Equivalent of War by William James.

3 Responses

  1. it is good to take a breather
    it is good to take a breather every now and then…even though i have not commented on all of your PW’s, i have been inspired most of the time by your posts…so thank you for doing the work that you do! and i wish you a merry and blessed holiday season and a happy new year…cheers!

  2. Hi Levi, I seldom post but
    Hi Levi, I seldom post but frequently visit. I remember that back when you switched from the Reviewing the Review to the Philosophy Weekend segment, I was skeptical that it would be as enjoyable, since RtR was so good. But you’ve proved me wrong, with bold, interesting, and well-written pieces every weekend. Cheers. Looking forward to PW’s evolution throughout 2012.

  3. Hi Levi, so on this note,
    Hi Levi, so on this note, here’s a link to a photo of Debbie Harry and Jack Casady in the SVT days backstage at a show in San Francisco.


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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!