The Neglected Philosophies: Prelude

I often write about happiness and see the world in terms of it. In fact, I often will view philosophies through the lens of happiness, sometimes using them to shed light on another philosophy. Maybe I am being too charitable. Maybe I pound square pegs in round holes.

Additionally, I will often read secondary sources instead of the primary ones, and of course even when reading primaries, there is the distortion of translations. In short, I may be distorting or biasing an already biased view. Sure, this is a blog, but still…

Yet, not only do I persist, but I think this may be a good thing. This is why I started blogging, and why I hesitated to start blogging.

We all have something to contribute. Each of us has a body of experiences, a way of viewing the world, priorities, etc… When we encounter things, they interact with our preexisting views and experiences to produce something which may be unique and valuable in itself. Additionally, the way we explain something can be a product of this same process, and thus we may be able to make something click for some people who never could understand the subject before. 

I am not just some guy reading a philosophy text. I am a guy with a whole network of beliefs who processes these texts, correlates and reconciles to (perhaps unintentionally) produce something that relates to these beliefs. When the result is not a rejection of what I read, it may very well be adaptation.

So with this in mind, I will cover some neglected philosophies. When I say neglected, I mean they have not gotten the amount and type of treatment I think they deserve. For instance, there are books on Schopenhauer, yet I think there are not enough books about his philosophy, especially of the practical “what can I take and apply” approach. The same holds for Pyrrhonism (Greek Skepticism), Cynicism, and (to a lesser extent) Epicureanism.  If I missed some practical works covering the above, I would love to know about them.

Ok enough of the prelude. You know my bias, where I am coming from, and what I am trying to do. As always, check other sources, and I will try to provide additional reading so you can get some perspective.

As the days go on, I will blog about these philosophies. I do not know in advance how many I will cover,  and this series might not be contiguous. I may cover a few philosophies, blog about random subjects, then resume blogging on these philosophies later. In short, consider this series open-ended. Unless I close it.

2 thoughts on “The Neglected Philosophies: Prelude

  1. Seems like a good idea. Let’s see where it goes.
    I started reading the books you talked about (“Mindfulness in plain English”). I’ve read one third of it more or less and it seems really helpful. Up until now I was focussing on Samatha meditation, not Vipassana (hence my surprise to your post). Vipassana seems much more useful for everyday life.
    I will start to meditate 10 minutes every day and let you know how it goes, though I am in a pretty good state of mind lately so it’s possible the benefits will take a while to show up…

    1. Excellent. Yes, Vipassna has a different focus, and it seems like it would be a better fit for what people need. It can be confusing, because many meditation manuals do not clarify the differences, and there are enough similarities to the two types of meditation, that one can blend into the other through a shift in focus. Additionally, some element of concentration nd mindfulness is essential to both.

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