In Barthes’ essay The ‘Blue Blood’ Cruise, he seeks to display a disparity in culture between the working class and the royal family. The disparity is so much greater than even that between the working class and the super-rich that we struggle to imagine them living out their lives in the same way as us. … Continue reading Mythologies- Barthes on… Royal Families
The main goal in this essay is to present the idea that social conventions can be constructed and used to sell an idea. This idea can the altered to fit the needs of the person using the image of the idea. The social convention he chooses to look at is that of the holiday. The … Continue reading Mythologies- Barthes on… the writer on holiday
One issue which has puzzled philosophers for hundreds of years is that of ‘other minds’. Thomas Nagel made this puzzle iconic in modern philosophy with his essay ‘what is it like to be a bat?’. In this paper, he points out the problem of the subject/object divide. I, the experiencer, am the subject; my experiences are … Continue reading Can modern art bridge the gap of the subject/object divide?
In his essay, Romans in films, Barthes draws his attention to the working symbols in Mankiewicz’s film Julius Caesar. One thing which he points as striking is that all the characters have fringes. This is a working symbol of the film because it unifies all of the characters, giving them a chosen ‘Roman-ness’. It is … Continue reading Mythologies- Barthes on… Romans in film
There is a very real demand for transparency in politics, in the media, in cultural representations. We can’t switch on our televisions without feeling that we aren’t being given the truth. That’s not to say we’re being fed lies, but to say that distortions and exaggerations are untruths as much as lies are untruths. Body … Continue reading Are you really sure it’s all so simple?
I intend to cover each of the essays of Roland Barthes' Mythologies individually. It's a wonderful book which highlights the hidden natures and symbols of everyday life. I begin today with essay #1- wrestling. Barthes begins with wrestling exactly because of the transparency of actions and symbols. It is a spectacle of excess. Every single … Continue reading Mythologies- Barthes on… Wrestling
“The eye is the first circle; The horizon which it forms is the second; and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end”- R. W. Emerson. Emerson took the circle to be a veritable metaphor for nature. It described human thought and navigation of life, and the laws of nature. His essay was highly … Continue reading Ralph Waldo Emerson- Circles. An essay of spiritual growth.
In this post, I intend to explain Rene Descartes’ Meditations. It is one of the most important and influential books in the history of philosophy, so deserves to be understood. I do not intend to engage with the text very much, merely explain what the text is about. I shall leave readers to muse upon … Continue reading Descartes’ Meditations, 1/3
“Saigyo in poetry, Sogi in linked verse, Sesshu in painting, Rikyu in the tea ceremony- the spirit that moves them is one spirit. Achieving artistic excellence, each holds one attribute in common: each remains attuned to nature throughout the four seasons. Whatever is seen by such a heart and mind is a flower, whatever is … Continue reading The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura
In trying to answer the question of what a person actually is, by which I mean what is essentially them, we can approach the question by asking the following- what can be taken away from a person’s identity without them ceasing to be them? Thinking back to Derek Parfit’s Teleporter thought experiment, we can wonder … Continue reading Is the rational or instinctive self the real self?