42 : deep thought on life, the universe and everything by Mark Vernon

By Mark Vernon

Mark Vernon takes his proposal from forty two of the funniest, wisest, and quirkiest quotations in regards to the titanic questions in lifestyles, and makes use of those as beginning issues for his superb observations. In every one bankruptcy he explains what the best thinkers of all time have needed to say on topics corresponding to everlasting lifestyles, paintings, love and intercourse, and the character of happiness; he attracts his personal conclusions, and may galvanize you to imagine deeply approximately this stuff for your self. Questions contain: Is lack of expertise bliss? Are freedom and slavery psychological states? Is love blind? Is there any cause to think a political candidate who tells you issues can simply recuperate? forty two assumes no past wisdom of philosophy; it’s effortless and enjoyable to learn, yet severe and demanding even as. Mark Vernon is a author, broadcaster and journalist. he's the writer of various books, together with technology, faith and the that means of lifestyles and The Philosophy of Friendship. He has a PhD in philosophy, in addition to levels in theology and physics, and he's an Honorary examine Fellow at Birkbeck university, collage of London.

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The rhyme should be between ‘love’ and ‘above’, such are the heights the two can now reach. Some lovers are false to one another: they are spiteful, hostile or make a pretence of passion. But for true lovers, the mutuality of their aspirations and character works magic: it fosters a sense of awe. They are amazed to be alive. Their full-blooded love opens up a passion, not just for each other but for life itself, for philosophy. True lovers want to know what love is; it discloses new insights; it lives with greater intensity; it precipitates big questions.

Under Christianity, the fundamental assumptions changed. Not everything was possible, because the goodness of sex had become problematic. Many sexual activities were simply prohibited. At the time of Pericles, the ithyphallic member would have been seen on every street corner – on statues of Hermes, in images of Bacchus, on murals and doorbells. But after the first century CE, an erection became ‘the image of man in revolt against God,’ as Michel Foucault put it. Consider the great sex scene in Plato’s dialogue, the Symposium.

Her incomprehension is his breakthrough. He realises that he does not desire the happiness of a ‘contented automaton’. Connection, which the old woman has, is the key to his happiness. He had not been mistaken to love big questions. His mistake had been to prefer prosaic answers to passionate ones. Voltaire wrote in an age in which philosophy sought the more and more abstract. In the attempt to arrive at arguments that were universal and true, its utterances were becoming detached, its gaze imperious.

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